Joint statement on the situation of Mustafa Aydin

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The International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), in partnership with five organisations, released a joint statement on the situation of Mustafa Aydin, a lawyer from Istanbul. Mr Aydin was arrested on 16 August 2016 and was in pre-trial detention for almost two years. He was charged with being a member of an armed terrorist organisation for legally representing a police officer investigating accusations of bribery and money laundering against members of the AKP. Such charge is in violation of article 16 of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, which protects lawyers acting in their professional capacity.

Mr Aydin is also experiencing serious health issues, including prostate cancer and hernia, and has not been receiving adequate medical treatment during his 22 months in detention. The denial of medical treatment is a violation of his right to life and right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment. The organisations respectfully and urgently requested Turkish authorities to release Mr Aydin for immediate medical treatment and ensure his right to fair trial is respected. 

Mr Aydin was finally released on 27 June 2018. The IBAHRI welcomes this recent event but reiterates its call upon the Government of Turkey to immediately end the arbitrary arrest, prosecution and detention of lawyers and to ensure that all lawyers in Turkey can perform their professional duties without fear of prosecution, intimidation and harassment.