PACE rapporteur deeply concerned about Murat Arslan's conviction

The General Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Raphaël Comte (Switzerland, ALDE), today reacted to the conviction of Turkish judge Murat Arslan, winner of the 2017 PACE Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize, who on Friday was sentenced by a first-instance court in Ankara to ten years in prison for belonging to an armed terrorist organisation:

"I am very concerned about the conviction of Murat Arslan, a former Rapporteur of the Turkish Constitutional Court, President of the now-dissolved Association for the Union of Judges and Prosecutors, and a staunch supporter of the independence of the judiciary in Turkey.

There have been serious allegations of violations of the Turkish Code of Criminal Procedure during the proceedings against Mr Arslan so far. Since the judgment is not final yet, I hope that his right to a fair trial will be respected during the appeal process.”