Presiding judge Françoise Barones Tulkens stated that the ruling was not legally binding but could serve as a moral resource to raise awareness for the world.
“The court has received credible reports of violence, torture, and that kidnapping a person amounts to enforced disappearance,” Tulkens said. stockholmcf.org, Saturday (25/9/2021).
With regard to press freedom, Tulkens said the court had also received reports of journalists being imprisoned and receiving repeated physical and mental abuse. The court also concluded that Turkey did not fulfill its obligations under international law to ensure public access to justice.
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“Noting that impunity for perpetrators of human rights violations is a entrenched practice in the criminal justice system, the court underlines that victims of human rights violations are left traumatized by the lack of access to justice,” he continued.
The Turkey Tribunal judges included prominent figures such as Prof. Em. Dr. Francoise Barones Tulkens, former deputy chair of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR); Dr. Johann van der Westhuizen, former judge of the South African Constitutional Court; and Prof.Em. Dr. Giorgio Malinverni and Prof. Dr. Ledi Bianku who serves as a judge at ECtHR.
So far, the panel of judges has heard testimony from witnesses who have been victims of human rights violations. Several prominent human rights experts and organizations have also submitted reports to the Turkey Tribunal.
During this week’s court session, judges heard the testimony of Mehmet Alp, a teacher who was kidnapped and subjected to intimidation and violence by security forces in Turkey; then Erhan Dogan, another tortured teacher in police custody; Mustafa zben, kidnapped by Turkish intelligence; Eren Keskin, a human rights activist who was arrested and imprisoned for his activities; and Mesut Kacmaz, who was kidnapped by Turkish intelligence. Also other witnesses included exile journalists Cevheri Guven and Meltem Oktay, former prosecutor Hasan Dursun and former judge Suleyman Bozoglu.