Joint statement on the killing of Tahir Elçi
Research Institute on Turkey joins 42 other organizations in a statement concerning the killing of human rights lawyer Tahir Elçi on 28 November 2015 and the lack of effective investigation into his death. Providing a detailed analysis of the shortcomings of the investigation and prosecution into the incident and underlining Turkey’s international human rights obligations, the organizations call on the Turkish authorities to ensure that:
1. The case against 3 police officers is heard by an independent, impartial, and competent court that is capable of establishing the facts and truth around the killing of Tahir Elçi;
2. All future hearings comply with international standards regarding the right to a fair trial, in which the victims’ rights are also recognized;
3. The hostile attitude from the Diyarbakır 10th Heavy Penal Court towards the Elçi family and their lawyers and the court’s persistent refusal to follow the rules of procedure and principles of both domestic and international law are not repeated in future hearings;
4. The lawyers for the Elçi family are given reasonable opportunities to be heard and to make their applications in relation to the procedure and the evidence;
5. Where submissions are refused, reasons for refusal are given in accordance with the case law of the European Court of Human Rights;
6. Following a fair judicial procedure, those who are responsible for Mr. Elçi’s killing are held accountable and serve sentences appropriate to the gravity of the crime committed; and
7. Mr. Elçi’s family is provided with appropriate redress for the violations they and their loved one have suffered in accordance with the international obligations of Turkey and the Minnesota Protocol.
The statement has been signed by the following organizations: Amsterdam Bar Association (the Netherlands), Article 19, Article 21 (Italy), Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (the United Kingdom), Cartoonists Rights Network International, Council of Bars and Law Societies in Europe (CCBE), Danish PEN, the European Association of Lawyers (AEA-EAL), European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights (ELDH), the European Bars Federation (FBE) and FBE Human Rights Commission, European Criminal Bar Association (ECBA), Fair Trial Watch (the Netherlands), Gelderland Bar Association (the Netherlands), Geneva Bar Association (Switzerland), German Bar Association (DAV) (Germany), Giuristi Democratici (Italy), the Group of International Legal Intervention (GIGI), the Hague Bar Association (the Netherlands), Human Rights in Practice (the Netherlands), the Institute for the Rule of Law of the International Association of Lawyers (UIA-IROL), the International Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL), the International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR), Index on Censorship, International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), the joint Presidents of the Local Bar Associations of the Netherlands, the Law Society of England and Wales (the United Kingdom), Lawyers for Lawyers (the Netherlands), Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (Canada), Limburg Bar Association (the Netherlands), Midden-Nederland Bar Association (the Netherlands), the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (South Africa), National Forensic Union M. G. A. (Italy), National Lawyers Guild International Committee (the United States of America), Netherlands Helsinki Committee (the Netherlands), Noord-Holland Bar Association (the Netherlands), Noord-Nederland Bar Association (the Netherlands), Oost-Brabant Bar Association (the Netherlands), Overijssel Bar Association (the Netherlands), Research Institute on Turkey (the United States of America), Rotterdam Bar Association (the Netherlands), Swiss Democratic Lawyers (Switzerland), Turkey Human Rights Litigation Support Project (the United Kingdom), and Zeeland-West-Brabant Bar Association (the Netherlands).