Verhaftung des Menschenrechtsanwalts MUHARREM ERBEY

SCHREIBEN von JÜRGEN KLUTE an Ministerpräsident Erdogan


Dear Prime Minister ERDOĞAN,

I am writing to express my grave concern about the imprisonment of Mr. Muharrem Erbey – Vice President of the Human Rights Association of Turkey (İHD) and President of the İHD's branch office in Diyarbakır – and to appeal for international action to secure his release. Mr. Erbey is regarded both in Turkey and internationally for his work as a human rights lawyer and defender.

According to information I received, In the early hours of the morning of 24 December 2009, Mr. Erbey was detained by Anti-Terror Units of the Diyarbakır Security Directorate as part of an operation launched simultaneously in 11 provinces of Turkey. The stated reason for Mr. Erbey's detention was his alleged membership of the KCK, an organization said to be the 'urban branch' of the armed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). He was arrested on the same charge on 25 December 2009 and is currently being held in Diyarbakır D-Type prison awaiting trial, although no lawsuit has been opened against him yet.

During his interrogation, Mr. Erbey was asked extensively about his work with the İHD, including several international visits he's conducted in order to draw attention to human rights abuses in the region. However, his lawyers are being prevented from accessing his case file and as such cannot know the exact charges or the evidence on which they are based. Going by the record of Mr. Erbey's interrogation, however, it appears to us that he has been imprisoned on the basis of his work with the Human Rights Association – the oldest and largest organization of its kind in Turkey - and in his capacity as a human rights lawyer.

Mr Erbey is in constant demand from national and international media outlets and international organizations looking for an independent view on the human rights situation in Turkey. In my view his imprisonment is a monumental loss, represents a grave escalation of state repression of the human rights movement in Turkey.

I thank you for your prompt attention to this matter and look forward to your response.

Yours sincerly,
Jürgen Klute, MEP, DIE LINKE.