Observation of the trial of Osman İşçi, human rights defender and trade-unionist

Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) Executive Committee member, human rights defender and trade unionist M. Osman İşçi was arrested in Ankara one year ago on 25 June 2012, and detained at the high-level security prison of Sincan, Ankara, along with another 27 trade unionists arrested on the same date facing proceedings for allegedly supporting a terrorist organization.

The first hearing of Osman İşçi’s trial took place on 10 April in the Ankara Special Court, after ten months of pre-trial detention. Following this hearing, M. Osman İşçi and 21 other trade unionists and human rights defenders were released, however the charges against them remain and a new hearing is scheduled for the 8 July 2013.

The EMHRN sent two observers to the first hearing on 10 April 2013, and produced a report from the trial observation mission. Prior to the hearing, observers met with human rights defenders and members of Mr. İşçi’s legal team in Ankara and noted concerns expressed about the nature of the proceedings brought against him and others, and particularly the chilling effect that such prosecutions appeared to be intended to have on the various communities directly affected, whether lawyers, journalists or in this case trade unionists and human rights defenders.

The observers attended the hearing and noted that it had been conducted with courtesy by all participants, and defendants and their lawyers had been permitted to take an active part in the hearing. Nevertheless they noted with concern that a number of central features of international fair trial standards appeared to be absent from the hearing, and from the proceedings generally.

To read the full report:The Trial Observation Report

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