The National Union of Peoples Lawyers (NUPL) the largest vountary association of human rights lawyers in the Philippines, condemns the harassment of our colleague Selçuk KOZAĞAÇLI, by the Turkish authorities. Selçuk has been defending victims of human rights abuses in Turkey including his most recent clients Nuriye Gulmen and Semih Özakça.
We assert the rights of human rights lawyers to be allowed to defend their clients without any harassment and intimidation from the government. This harassment is not the first in Turkey but is the most recent in a series of harassment against human rights lawyers, and against eh Association of Progressive Lawyers in Turkey (CHD) that is headed by Selçuk. In numerous occasions, the office of the CHD was attacked by government forces and illegally closed. The officers were arrested and many were harassed, just because the CHD were defending the rights of victims of oppression and exploitation in Turkey.
This is more reprehensible in the face of the massive human rights abuses, persecution and terror committed by the Mr. Erdogan and the Turkish government against the political opposition in Turkey and against the people.
We call on the Erdogan government to put a stop to these harassment of lawyers and the acts of terror against its own people.
We call on all the progressive lawyers of the world to unite and condemn these nefarious acts of the Turkish government and extend our hands in solidarity with Selçuk, the CHD, and the peoples of Turkey.
NATIONAL UNION OF PEOPLES' LAWYERS (NUPL) -Philippines
Edre U. Olalia
Ephraim B. Cortez