This week a UK delegation of six barristers and solicitors travelled to Istanbul to observe the sixth hearing of the KCK trial of lawyers, a major anti-terror trial in which 46 lawyers representing Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan are being tried on mass for their association with him as their client.
In this hearing the final 16 defendants whose case had not yet been heard were able to present their defence. None were released on bail, and so must endure continued imprisonment on top of the 22 months they have already spent in pre-trial detention until the next hearing, scheduled for 19 December.
The delegates included international human rights barristers Margaret Owen OBE, Hugo Charlton, and Mark Jones of St Ives Chambers, as well as Tooks Chambers’ Bronwen Jones and Law Society Human Rights Committee member, Tony Fisher and Ali Has, solicitor and representative of the Law Society Human Rights Committee International Action Team.
We will bring you reports and statements by the delegates in the near future. In the meantime, Margaret Owen has written three blog posts giving her observations of the highly political hearing, which are below.
All of our delegates reports and statements on the trials, as well as our actions here in the UK to bring the issue to wider attention, can be found on the International Observation of the KCK trial of Kurdish Lawyers page.