tirsdag 6. desember 2016

Fortvilt stemme fra Tyrkia

I dag fikk jeg et brev fra dama til en bekjent statsadvokat i Tyrkia. Eposten med brevet var sendt til seks personer, men er sikkert også spredt til flere.

Mannen ble fengslet dagen etter kuppen i sommer. Sammen med ca 3 000 andre dommere og statsadvokater ble de på dagen sagt opp fordi Høyeste rådet for dommere og statsadvokater (HSYK) mente de hadde vært involvert i kuppet. (Ikke helt tilfeldig helt i tråd med regjeringens og presidentens ønsker) Det er selvfølgelig en umulighet å vite at alle de skulle hatt en rolle i det. Den egentlige årsaken er vel at alle de mente hadde noen sympatier for Gülens Hizmet-bevegelse, har hatt barn i bevegelsens skoler, har bekjente som er aktve der etc

Mange av de 3 000 er blitt fengslede. Jeg kjenner et par av dem og er ganske fortvilt. Det er ganske urealistisk at de skal få en rettferdig rettergang når regjeringen ser til å sparke alle som ikke er politisk enig med dem selv.

Det er langt brev, og jeg har tatt vekk navnet på min bekjente, men det er viktig å få fortalt hvordan det er og hvor i utakt med all rettssikkerhet og menneskerettigheter som Tyrkia p.t. er.

"I am the spouse of the Public Prosecutor NN who is now under arrest in L-type High Security Closed Institution for the Execution of Sentences.
My husband, while serving as the Public Prosecutor, was arrested after being charged with the offence of being a member of FETÖ/PDY terrorist organization as well as with the offence of attempting to overthrow the government. Due to the fact that the issue is closely related to human rights and given the fact that the fundamental human rights are protected under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as adopted by the United Nations and European Convention on Human Rights which have been adopted by almost all of the European Countries I deem it necessary to state and explain certain main issues to you.

Based on the fact that the promotion, protection and development of human rights is the common heritage of all civilized nations, I expect that my following explanations will be taken into consideration by all high contracting parties and high esteemed people .

I am in the opinion that the efforts aimed at strengthening democracy and promoting, improving human rights and prevention and elimination of human rights violations in Turkey will also provide benefits to our country due to the fact that the human rights are regarded as substantive rights corresponding to substantive obligations undertaken by the contracting states, to the European Convention on Human Rights and other relevant international conventions to which Turkey is a signatory party.

Apart from the serious violations of law in connection with the detention of my spouse as explained below in detail I would also like to briefly point out the developments that are embedded within the social structure of Turkey and that have a direct impact on the world of law and serious consequences to citizens to make these particular series events more understandable.

ON 15TH OF JULY, a coup d’état was attempted in Turkey. All political parties and all social formations, including us, condemned the coup d’état attempt with the feelings of great solidarity, unity and togetherness. I would like to specifically emphasize that my husband, as a jurist, shares the same feelings. However, the point where we part ways is; the necessity of distinguishing innocent from guilty and fighting against crime and criminals within the framework of and based upon the strict commitment to the constitutional principles of state of law should be a reality in every concrete fact.

The state of emergency was declared immediately following the attempt of the coup d’état and subsequently a series of statutory decrees were issued under Turkey’s state of emergency. New provisions have been introduced in various fields through the said statutory decrees including those that regulate the rights of state officials and civil servant and in particular the code of criminal procedures. I don’t deem it necessary to explain to you each of these provisions in a detailed manner since it would take too much of your time. However, I would like to address only one point in this letter which is especially worthy of discussion here. Statutory decrees issued during a state of emergency cannot be brought before the Constitutional Court to have them examined and verified against allegations of their unconstitutionality as to form or substance. (Constitution of the Republic of Turkey, article 148).

Consequently, decisions and/or sanctions of suspension, expulsion or removal from office made against or imposed upon many public officials arekept out of the scope of judicial review. The balance between prosecution and defense cannot be maintained and is sharply deteriorated against defense;allegations of use of violence, threats and mistreatment in execution of punishment against detainees have risen sharply, and liens are placed against these people’s property or their property is seized in an unjust manner, and they are deprived of many guarantees provided under the constitution, in particular freedom to claim rights and principal of natural judge.

On the other hand, a series of amendments to the provisions regarding the Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors have been introduced through a series of amendments to the Constitution on 07th of May 2010, and as a part of these amendments the composition of the Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors was revised as to the nomination of its members and the method of its formation. Through this revision, a new nomination and election procedure was adopted to allow judges and prosecutors to nominate and elect the members of the Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors. These new legal arrangements, which are consistent with the principles of a democratic state of law, unfortunately in practice have led to the use of unfair and unlawful practices by those who win the elections against those who lose the elections. A look into the history of the Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors, for example only for the last two years would be sufficient to understand these issues. An examination of how the members of the members of the Association of Judicial Unity who won the elections have been promoted to higher posts and how members of other associations that lost the elections were removed of their office and title would be sufficient to prove this fact. I am in the opinion that a careful examination of the decisions for the appointment and transfer of judges and public prosecutors before and after major investigations will be sufficient to understand these issues. I would also like to express that, immediately after the attempt of the evil (!) coup d’étaton 15th of July 2016, the Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors held a meeting on the day immediately following the failed coup d’état upon the complaints of people who hold political office and suspended more than three thousand judges and public prosecutors, and judicial immunity of these judges and public prosecutors were lifted to allow them to be investigated, and more than two thousand judges and public prosecutors were dismissed from the profession by the Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors on the grounds of the failed coup d’état attempt.
My husband was arrested unlawfully. Let me put it this way;
1- The first condition to be met before arresting someone is bringing him or her before the competent legal authority on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offence. In the investigation conducted against him no material evidence has been discovered or produced to substantiate the accusations against him, and consequently there is not even a simple suspicion, let alone a reasonable suspicion. There is no mention of acts that are alleged to constitute the offense(s) with which he was charged neither in the decision taken to arrest him nor in the decisions taken on the continuation of detention.

2- The second condition to be met before arresting someone is based on a reasonable consideration to deem it necessary to prevent him/her committing an offense or fleeing after having done so. He has never committed any offence, neither taken to the police before as well as there is no possibility for him to commit any offence in the future. There is no tangible or physical indication indicating that he would commit an offence. The necessity for arresting him is never explained in a concrete and reasonable manner neither in the decision taken to arrest him nor in the decisions taken on the continuation of detention. If he is released he would have no reason for fleeing or commuting an offence. This is because;

a) All of his assets have been seized. As a part of these measures imposed by the government his bank accounts are blocked and are not freely available for use, and therefore he has no money at all.

b) His parents are alive and we have two children. It is not a matter for him to go any other place leaving his parents and children behind.

c) He strongly believes that the investigation against him will be concluded with a positive decision and that he will be reinstated to his position. Consequently, he has no reason to flee or run away.

d) My husband never tried to flee before his arrest. When the police came to arrest my husband he was at home. On the other hand, he always says “I did not flee, and I won’t because I know and believe that I am innocent and did not commit any offence.”

e) Neither the judicial authorities nor the administrative authorities made any determination or assessment about an attempt of fleeing or risk of fleeing and more importantly the reason(s) for forming a reasonable suspicion is/are never mentioned in these decisions.

3- In addition to the provisions of article 5/1.c of the above-mentioned European Convention on Human Rights regarding the lawful arrest or detention of a person there also other conditions to be met for issuance of a lawful arrest or detention decision according to the applicable national legislation which include a strong suspicion on the conduct of the suspect or accused that he/she is going to attempt to destroy, hide or change the evidence or put an unlawful pressure on witnesses, victims or other individuals. It is not reasonable to consider that a suspect or accused may destroy, hide or change the evidence without any personalization on this particular issue (for the time being, investigations are carried out against more than three thousand judges and public prosecutors) and without mentioning any finding, inspection and thorough examination in the reasoning of the decision. In the course of the investigation, no information is being shared as to whether or not is there any uncollected evidence or not or whether the process of gathering evidence is still in progress or not, in such a situation how can it be said that any piece of evidence is destroyed or hidden or altered. Given the fact that the police searched our house and all of our personal computers and laptops (including mine) were seized by the police how can he hide or alter any evidence? In addition to all the foregoing, a confidentiality order has been issued with respect to the investigation conducted against him, and consequently no one knows who testified and what they said and who will testify. In such a situation, it is apparent that it is not possible for my husband to put an unlawful pressure on witnesses, or any other person. Then, the question is that; what is the reason for the formation of a strong suspicion against him that leads to the continuation of his detention? Moreover, there is another important question on this issue, why the existence of the strong suspicion has not yet been proved by any judicial or administrative authority?

4- As is well known, detention may not be used as a means of punishment. This is because, according to the universal principle of presumption of innocence everyone is considered innocent unless proven guilty based on a finalized court order. Therefore, instrument of arrest must be used only in obligatory cases and in consistent with the principle of proportionality with the offence committed by indicating the reason for using it as an instrument. In the first place, everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty. There is no explanation why the judicial and administrative authorities in the first place made decisions to arrest my husband and then made decisions for the continuation of detention despite that there are lighter measures in the rule of law that may be used as a precautionary instrument and what are the concrete and tangible facts and events that the decisions are based on. Judicial authorities used arrest as a first resort despite the fact that it has to be used as the last resort according to the doctrine without showing any valid reason.

5- After a simple examination of my husband’s statement taken in the Office of the Public Prosecutor one can easily understand that the questions directed at my husband were not directly related to the acts that are alleged to constitute the offense(s) with which he was charged but related to issues involving freedom of thought and opinion.
Here are some of the questions:

* Which schools you studied in?
* Where did you stay while studying in the university?
*Did you work or serve as a class representative or a member of an album committee while studying in the university?
* For whom you voted in the elections of the Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors?
* Have you ever done social media postings against the government?
* Did you have a talk with your friends against the government?

My husband was arrested after being asked abstract questions. The Public Prosecutor and Investigating Judge declared to my husband “that there is no evidence on the file other than the search warrant, seizure warrant and detention warrant” in respect of the acts that are alleged to constitute the offense(s) with which he was charged and arrested.
My husband was unlawfully arrested manner without any concrete and/or valid evidence and by being exposed to questions related to issues involving freedom of thought and opinion.

6- According to the well-established international case law as well as the well- established case law of national judicial authorities the decision of arrest based on a statement taken by using banned interrogation techniques and/or methods is contrary to the rule of law. As a matter of fact, his statement was taken throughout the all day after he was remanded in custody and his interrogation continued even throughout all the night and subsequently the decision to arrest him was taken in the morning of the next day. It is very apparent that he was deprived of his right to defense causing him to feel enormously exhausted, anxious and worried by using the banned interrogation methods and techniques.

7- As is known, “Principle of Natural (Independent and Impartial) Judge” is guaranteed under article 6/1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. On the other hand, special provisions have been introduced for the procedures to be implemented in interrogations to be conducted against judges and public prosecutors through the law no 2802 which defines and regulates the rights and obligations of judges and public prosecutors. However, the decision taken to arrest him was not based on these special provisions but on standard and general provisions. To top it all off, judges were changed in some provinces and special judges were appointed to handle these cases. Therefore, in the light of the above, the decision taken for arrest is also contrary to the principle of Natural (Independent and Impartial) Judge.

In addition to all the foregoing, the decision taken to arrest my husband as well as the decisions taken for the continuation of detention is also apparently contrary to the provisions of article 5/3 and 6/1 of the European Convention on Human Rights as clearly stated in the following decisions of the European Court of Human Rights; Neumeister/Austria, dated 27/06/1968, USA/Turkey, dated 26/01/2010, Dereci/Turkey, dated 24/05/2005, Can and Gümüş/Turkey, dated 31/03/2009, Memedova/Russia, dated 01/06/2006, Eken/Turkey, dated 08/08/2006 and Yağcı and Sargın/Turkey, dated 08/06/1995.

Despite these facts my husband is still under arrest.

To crown it all, my husband was dismissed from the profession based on a completely baseless allegation lacking in evidence. Interrogations and investigations which were initiated long before he took office and in which he was never involved as a prosecutor or judge were shown as grounds for his dismissal. Despite the fact that everyone should be responsible for his own acts and actions in accordance with the principle of personality of criminal responsibility and personality of punishment he was held responsible for acts and actions that are alleged to be committed by others. Furthermore, one of the grounds for his dismissal is “social media postings and sharing” which falls within the scope of freedom of thought and opinion which is guaranteed under the constitution. Other grounds including “information on social circles, on-site investigations” are not impartial but subjective grounds which cannot be properly checked and verified as to their contents.
More than three thousand judges and public prosecutors were dismissed from the profession based on the reasoning which is explained even less than one full page and even without having the opportunity to make defense.
This action which was undertaken by depriving thousands of judges and public prosecutors of their right to defense, which is a holy right for all individuals, is contrary to the law just as the decisions for arrest and continuation of the detention.

On the other hand, it is not possible to understand how the Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors determined that about some three thousand Judges and Public Prosecutors were involved in the attempt of coup d’état and that they are members of the terrorist organization in a two-hours meeting held immediately the following day of the failed coup d’état.

Your efforts to this end in collaboration with the relevant Turkish authorities on this issue will provide an exceptional contribution to the improvement of the right to liberty and security, which is one of the common values of the mankind, also in our country.

I request for your help and support, expecting that my petition will provide a small contribution and whereas your efforts will provide an exceptional contribution to this end."

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