Urgent Interventions

The judicial harassment of Pinar Selek must end


Turkey: The judicial harassment of Pinar Selekmust end

Paris-Geneva, November 20, 2012. TheObservatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme ofthe International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World OrganisationAgainst Torture (OMCT), calls once more for the acquittal of Ms. Pinar Selek,who has been victim of judicial harassment for 14 years.

OnNovember 22, 2012, the Twelfth Chamber of the Istanbul High Criminal Court isdue to examine for the umpteenth time the criminal case pending against Ms. Pinar Selek, a writer and sociologistwho has been actively defending the rights of vulnerable communities in Turkeysince. In 1998, she was falsely accused of causing a bomb to explode in Istanbul’sEgyptian bazaar on July 9 of the same year, and of being a member of aterrorist organisation for that purpose. On the basis of these accusations, Ms.Pinar Selek was detained and subjectedto acts of torture and ill-treatment until her provisional release in 2000.

While thecourt’s investigations largely confirmed the absence of a bomb and the absenceof evidence incriminating Ms. Selek, Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 12acquitted Ms. Selek three times (2006, 2008 and 2011). Nonetheless, followingappeals by the General Prosecutor, the Court of Cassation consistently quashedthe Istanbul Heavy Penal Court's decision. On March 7, 2012, the GeneralProsecutor requested the Court to sentence Ms. Pinar Selek to life timeimprisonment. Therefore, Ms. Selek has been subjected to an uninterruptedjudicial harassment for more than 14 years.

Under the threat of arbitrary arrestand detention at any time, Ms. Pinar Selek has been impeded to resume her lifeand work in Turkey. The Observatory therefore once again urges the Turkishauthorities to immediately and unconditionally put an end to the relentlessjudicial harassment that has been targeting Ms. Pinar Selek for more than 14years, as it seems to merely aim at sanctioning her for her continuing advocacyfor the respect of human rights in Turkey.

The Observatory further denouncesthe unacceptable delays in rendering justice, which amount to a denial ofjustice, and blatantly contravene to the right to a fair and public hearingwithin a reasonable time, as provided by the European Convention on HumanRights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)binding Turkey.

For further information, pleasecontact:

FIDH:Arthur Manet / Audrey Couprie: + 33 1 43 55 25 18

OMCT: DelphineReculeau: + 41 22 809 49 39

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