24 September 2012

Brev till turkiets justitieminister

To Mr Sadullah Ergin, Minister of Justice, Turkey

Dear Mr Sadullah Ergin,

Muharram Erbey, human rights lawyer, writer and PEN Turkey member should be released now!

Muharram Erbey should be released from prison immediately. He was arrested on December 24 2009 and has been detained in prison since then without being sentenced in a fair trial during these 3 years! Erbey was again brought to trial Friday 21 September 2012 together with about 80 other people, women and men, who are accused of having links to an organisation said to be affiliate to the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). We are deeply concerned by the fact that no decision of Mr Erbey’s immediate release was taken.

Since 1990’s Erbey has worked on human rights issues and has represented a number of individuals whose cases have come to the European Court on Human Rights.

We at PEN share concerns of other human rights observers that Muharrem Erbey’s arrest appears to be linked to his human rights advocacy. Erbey is a highly respected human rights lawyer, and Vice President of the Human Rights Association (IHD) who has conducted research into disappearances and extra-judicial killings in and around Diyarbakir region.

We at Swedish PEN want to express our deep concern at the arrest of Muharram Erbey for reasons, which appear to be related to his human rights advocacy.

We ask for assurances that his arrest from now on does not fail foul of international standards protecting the rights to freedom of expression and association, and that the judicial proceedings against him follow full and proper fair trial process.

We call for the judicial process against him to be carried out expediently and without delay.

As representatives from Swedish PEN we attended the trial during Friday on September 21 2012 and we now also call for Muharram Erbey’s immediate and unconditional release.

Diyarbakir September 22 2012

Firat Ceweri
Writer and member of Swedish PEN

Maria Modig
Writer and member of Swedish PEN