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‘Turkey Tribunal’ to Hold Trial on Erdogan’s Rights Violations

‘Turkey Tribunal’ to Hold Trial on Erdogan’s Rights Violations

Monday, 15 June, 2020 - 07:45
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (AFP)

Turkey Tribunal, a not-for-profit human rights organization registered in Belgium, will hold a tribunal in Geneva in September on the human rights violations committed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

"The tribunal is not a legally binding body. But the ruling of the tribunal will have high moral authority," Turkey Tribunal said in a press statement.

The trial will be held on September 21 and 25. Reports detailing torture, systems of impunity against torture and mistreatment, the situation of lawyers and medical assistance for the imprisoned or detained in Turkey will be presented.

Several international organizations have called on the tribunal to address the Turkish military’s war crimes in Syria and Libya, as well as successive Erdogan governments’ ties to terrorist groups.

Turkey Tribunal was set up by a prominent legal firm in Belgium. It has tackled major cases, defending Turkish citizens, whose rights are being violated by their own government, before international courts.

The tribunal's judges consist of: Françoise Barones Tulkens, former judge and vice president of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR); Johann van der Westhuizen, former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa; Elisabeth Abi, former deputy executive secretary of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; Giorgio Malinverni and Ledi Bianku, former judges at the ECHR; as well as John Pace, the former secretary to the Commission on Human Rights.

Several human rights experts and organizations will provide reports to the tribunal, including; Eric Sottas, the former secretary-general of the World Organization against Torture; the Lawyers Collective in Turkey; Sebnem Korur Fincancı, the president of the Human Rights Foundation in Turkey; the Ankara Bar Association; as well as Philippe Leruth, the former president of the International Federation of Journalists.

Rights violations have increased dramatically in Turkey after the failed July 2016 coup against Erdogan. Security forces have since then committed grave violations against the people and opposition political groups, as documented by various international rights organizations.

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