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Human Rights Commissioner Löning congratulates the Turkish lawyer Muharrem Erbey on being awarded the Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Prize by European lawyers

30.11.2012

Federal Government Human Rights Commissioner Markus Löning today (30 November) congratulated the Turkish lawyer Muharrem Erbey on being awarded the Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Prize by European lawyers. Löning also called for Erbey’s release from custody in Turkey. As he is being detained, Erbey is unable to receive the Prize in person today. The Human Rights Commissioner met the lawyer’s family at the Federal Foreign Office today.
To mark that occasion, Markus Löning issued the following statement:

Mr Erbey has been awarded the Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Prize today. I would like to warmly congratulate him on that. At the same time, I deeply regret that he is unable to receive this honour in person. For Mr Erbey has been remanded in custody in Diyarbakir for almost three years now. I call for his immediate release and a fair trial. The proceedings against him give great cause for concern. Mr Erbey was not given an opportunity to view the case files in their entirety and the identity of the main prosecution witness was not disclosed. I visited Mr Erbey in prison during the summer. He deserves our support! I am very pleased that the Federal Chamber of Lawyers, the Berlin Chamber of Lawyers and other European lawyers associations have been campaigning on Mr Erbey’s behalf and have highlighted their support for him by awarding him this Prize. This support is a demonstration of great solidarity and exemplary dedication to human rights. Turkey must finally respect the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law. It signed the European Convention on Human Rights and must now adhere to its terms.

Background:

The Turkish lawyer Muharrem Erbey has been remanded in custody for nearly three years now. Today (30 November), he was awarded the Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Prize in Berlin in absentia. His wife and two sons are taking part in the ceremony on his behalf. Markus Löning officially received Mr Erbey’s family at the Federal Foreign Office today.

The Prize is awarded every year by the European Bar Human Rights Institute. The citation is being delivered by Federal Justice Minister Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger. The first winner of this Prize was Nelson Mandela. Click here for more information on Muharrem Erbey and the Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Prize:

www.rak-berlin.de

In addition to the Human Rights Commissioner and European chambers of lawyers, numerous NGOs, such as PEN, are campaigning on behalf of Mr Erbey, including

www.englishpen.org

and the German Association of Democratic Lawyers

www.vdj.de

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