Turkey: The judicial harassment of Pinar Selek must end
PRESS RELEASE - THE OBSERVATORY
Turkey: The judicial harassment of Pinar Selek
Paris-Geneva, November 20, 2012. The
Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of
the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation
Against Torture (OMCT), calls once more for the acquittal of Ms. Pinar Selek,
who has been victim of judicial harassment for 14 years.
November 22, 2012, the Twelfth Chamber of the Istanbul High Criminal Court is
due to examine for the umpteenth time the criminal case pending against Ms. Pinar Selek, a writer and sociologist
who has been actively defending the rights of vulnerable communities in Turkey
since. In 1998, she was falsely accused of causing a bomb to explode in Istanbul’s
Egyptian bazaar on July 9 of the same year, and of being a member of a
terrorist organisation for that purpose. On the basis of these accusations, Ms.
Pinar Selek was detained and subjected
to acts of torture and ill-treatment until her provisional release in 2000.
court’s investigations largely confirmed the absence of a bomb and the absence
of evidence incriminating Ms. Selek, Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 12
acquitted Ms. Selek three times (2006, 2008 and 2011). Nonetheless, following
appeals by the General Prosecutor, the Court of Cassation consistently quashed
the Istanbul Heavy Penal Court's decision. On March 7, 2012, the General
Prosecutor requested the Court to sentence Ms. Pinar Selek to life time
imprisonment. Therefore, Ms. Selek has been subjected to an uninterrupted
judicial harassment for more than 14 years.
Under the threat of arbitrary arrest
and detention at any time, Ms. Pinar Selek has been impeded to resume her life
and work in Turkey. The Observatory therefore once again urges the Turkish
authorities to immediately and unconditionally put an end to the relentless
judicial harassment that has been targeting Ms. Pinar Selek for more than 14
years, as it seems to merely aim at sanctioning her for her continuing advocacy
for the respect of human rights in Turkey.
The Observatory further denounces
the unacceptable delays in rendering justice, which amount to a denial of
justice, and blatantly contravene to the right to a fair and public hearing
within a reasonable time, as provided by the European Convention on Human
Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
For further information, please
Arthur Manet / Audrey Couprie: + 33 1 43 55 25 18
• OMCT: Delphine
Reculeau: + 41 22 809 49 39