Situation in Turkey

Joint declaration of the judges' and prosecutors' associations of Serbia

Joint declaration of the judges' and prosecutors' associations of SerbiaIt is with great concern that Judges’ Association of Serbia and Association of Public Prosecutors and Deputy Public Prosecutors of Serbia follow the situation of their Turkish colleagues, judges and public prosecutors, after the attempted military coup in Turkey.

The Turkish judiciary has, in recent years, faced numerous challenges, as international professional associations MEDEL and IAJ/EAJ, as well as Consultative Council of European Judges, warned in their numerous addresses to the European institutions, though, unfortunately, in vain. Judges and public prosecutors in Turkey, who performed their functions conscientiously and equally towards everyone, endured  pressures  and  threats, were exposed against their will to transfers  (9.000 of them, out of the total of 15.000 in Turkey, during the period of less than two years, were reallocated) to locations several thousands of kilometres away, were also subjected to unjustifiable dismissals  and,  since 2014, even to arrests.

The scope of actions undertaken against judges and public prosecutors only on the day of the attempted military coup – 2.745 judges and public prosecutors were dismissed and arrested, while a new list for arrests of 2.000 judges and public prosecutors is prepared; denial to judges and prosecutors of the right to defence through the prohibition of contact with their attorneys and the case of two judges who suffered heart attacks on 18 July while presenting their testimonies in the court building in Izmir, all indicate to a reasonable suspicion that there is mass human rights violation taking place in Turkey and that the detained judges and public prosecutors are being treated inhumanely.

Inadmissibility of a military coup against a government elected in  democratic  elections cannot constitute an excuse for violation of fundamental rights, flagrant destruction of independence of judiciary and the Rule of Law.

Judges’ Association of Serbia and Association of Public Prosecutors and Deputy Public Prosecutors of Serbia express their solidarity with Turkish judges and public prosecutors and call upon:

Turkish authorities to urgently set free those judges and public prosecutors for whom there is no reasonable suspicion for involvement in the military coup and to, as well, respect the Rule of Law and human rights.

Council of Europe, its bodies, especially European Committee for the Prevention of torture, Committee of the United Nations Against Torture, and other international organisations dealing with the protection of human rights, to establish teams of experts and examine the worrisome situation onsite.

European Commission institutions to condemn in the severest terms the violation of independence of the judiciary in Turkey, to call upon the Turkish authorities to respect the principles guaranteed by the international law and the Constitution on which a judiciary in a democratic society is based upon and to urgently undertake all the available measures so that the accelerated and alarming erosion of the Rule of Law in Turkey is halted.

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