Bergen, 12. January 2010
Mr Sadullah Ergin
Minister of Justice
Fax: 00 90 312 419 3370
Turkish Embassy in Norway
Halvdan Svartes gate 5
As a member of Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN, I express concern at the arrest of human rights lawyer Muharrem Erbey for reasons which appear to be related to his human rights advocacy.
According to reports, members of the Anti-Terror Unit of the Diyabakir Security Directorate took Erbey from his home in the early hours of 24 December 2009. Erbey is charged under Article 220/6 of the Penal Code with “membership of an illegal organisation”, the Kurdistan Democratic Confederation (KCK), said to be affiliated to the banned Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). He is held in Diyabakir D Type Prison. Around 80 others were arrested across the region, 23 of whom are said to remain detained.
I seek your assurance, Your Excellency, to ensure Erbey´s arrest does not fall foul of international standards protecting the rights to freedom of expression and association. I would also seek your assurance to ensure that the judicial proceedings against him follow full and proper fair trial process, and that the process is to be carried out expediently and without delay.
Confident that you, Your Excellency, will take action accordingly, I remain,
Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN