Turkey: Right to Pre-Trial Release at International Law
Amicus Brief in the Trial of Ayşe Acinikli and Ramazan Demir
LRWC and the Law Society of England and Wales prepared an amicus brief (in Turkish and English) for submission to the Constitutional Court of Turkey in the trial of human rights lawyers Ayşe Acinikli and Ramazan Demir. The brief identifies and explains the nature and scope of Turkey’s international legal obligations to ensure the rights at issue in the criminal proceedings against the lawyers, namely rights to: freedom of expression and assembly, participate in public affairs, liberty and security of the person, pre-trial release, as well as rights related to a fair trial, such as the presumption of innocence. Ayşe Acinikli and Ramazan Demir were released on 7 September 2016 after 5 months in arbitrary pre-trial detention.
Under various International Law conventions to which Turkey is a party, Turkey is legally obligated to ensure that individuals within its territory enjoy, without discrimination, the right to be presumed innocent, the right not to be arbitrarily arrested or detained, the right to pre-trial release and to be brought to trial within a reasonable time and the right to obtain a remedy in relation to any violation of these rights. This report analyses these International Law obligations in light of Turkey’s ongoing persecution of lawyers, who are often subject to arbitrary arrest, detention and judicial harassment for merely defending their clients’ rights in politically sensitive cases.