Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2018, 12:46 GMT

Turkey: The judicial harassment of Pinar Selek must end

Publisher International Federation for Human Rights
Publication Date 20 November 2012
Cite as International Federation for Human Rights, Turkey: The judicial harassment of Pinar Selek must end, 20 November 2012, available at: [accessed 19 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Last Update 20 November 2012

On November 22, 2012, the Twelfth Chamber of the Istanbul High Criminal Court is due to examine for the umpteenth time the criminal case pending against Ms. Pinar Selek, a writer and sociologist who has been actively defending the rights of vulnerable communities in Turkey. In 1998, she was falsely accused of causing a bomb to explode in Istanbul's Egyptian bazaar on July 9 of the same year, and of being a member of a terrorist organisation for that purpose. On the basis of these accusations, Ms. Pinar Selek was detained and subjected to acts of torture and ill-treatment until her provisional release in 2000.

While the court's investigations largely confirmed the absence of a bomb and the absence of evidence incriminating Ms. Selek, Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 12 acquitted Ms. Selek three times (2006, 2008 and 2011). Nonetheless, following appeals by the General Prosecutor, the Court of Cassation consistently quashed the Istanbul Heavy Penal Court's decision. On March 7, 2012, the General Prosecutor requested the Court to sentence Ms. Pinar Selek to life time imprisonment. Therefore, Ms. Selek has been subjected to an uninterrupted judicial harassment for more than 14 years.

Under the threat of arbitrary arrest and detention at any time, Ms. Pinar Selek has been impeded to resume her life and work in Turkey. The Observatory therefore once again urges the Turkish authorities to immediately and unconditionally put an end to the relentless judicial harassment that has been targeting Ms. Pinar Selek for more than 14 years, as it seems to merely aim at sanctioning her for her continuing advocacy for the respect of human rights in Turkey.

The Observatory further denounces the unacceptable delays in rendering justice, which amount to a denial of justice, and blatantly contravene to the right to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time, as provided by the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) binding Turkey.

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