Muharrem Erbey, a prominent human rights lawyer in Turkey, Vice-President of the Human Rights Association (IHD), advocate and writer, will give a talk at 9 Bedford Row Chambers in London. The event will take place on Monday 18th July at 5:30 pm.
The talk intends to describe the present legal climate in Turkey, with particular reference to the status of the justice system, the judiciary, the attacks on freedom of speech, press, assembly, and on the lawyers who face imprisonment for doing their job defending lawyers who are themselves in prison for speaking on behalf of the Kurds and their imprisoned leader, Abdullah Ocalan.
Muharrem will speak for approximately 30 minutes and will then answer questions from the audience. Please note that he will be speaking through an interpreter.
Muharrem Erbey is a human rights lawyer, writer and activist. As a lawyer, he has worked on cases involving human rights issues since the 1990’s, for which he has gained international respect. He has represented a number of individuals whose cases have been taken to the European Court of Human Rights. In 2008, he became Vice President of the IHD, one of Turkey’s most reputable human rights associations. Commentators have referred to recent visits by Muharrem to various European parliaments, including in Sweden, Belgium and the UK, where he spoke on Kurdish rights. He has also had work published as a columnist and writer, and in 2007, he co-edited a collection of Turkish and Kurdish language stories by 35 authors.
Muharrem’s experience as a human rights lawyer and advocate in the southeast of Turkey is vast. He has worked on, amongst others, the compiling of reports on disappearances and extra-judicial killings of 17,000 Kurdish people in the region, while also representing local individuals in provincial, national and international courts (including the ECHR).
On 24 December 2009, Muharrem was arrested in Diyarbakir, Southeastern Turkey. He was one of the 152 prominent members of political and civil society organisations that stood in what is known as ‘the KCK trial’, a mass trial that began in April 2009. Muharrem was held on remand for more than four years before finally being released on bail in 2014. He has since been awarded the Tucholsky Award by Swedish PEN and won the Ludovic Trarieux Human Rights Prize in 2012.
Image source: www.pen-international.org