Rapporto sul processo per l’assassinio di Tahir Elçi

The eleventh and final hearing of the trial for the assassination of the president of Diyarbakir Bar Association, Tahir Elçi ended on Wednesday the 12th of March 2024, confirming the apparent inability of the Turkish judiciary system of establishing the truth about the murder of a brilliant and important key actor of the struggle for rule of law and justice in the region of Turkish Kurdistan and all over the country, a brave lawyer and human rights defender who finally paid with his life his unrelenting commitment. The hearing has been characterized by the massive mobilitation and presence of most Bar Association of Turkey, beginning with the most important ones. About 15 international observers coming from various European countries (France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom) also assisted to the hearing. The numerous (about 50) speeches of the Bar representatives denounced the absence of any meaningful probatory activity by the judges during the almost nine years long duration of the trial. The refusal of the Tribunal of acquiring important witnesses, technical expertises, such as that provided by the University of London, together with the manipulation of the videos originating from the cameras located on the scene of the crime show a clear attitude of the competent judiciary authorities amounting to openly refuse to shed any light on the assassination, perpetrated brazenly, in full daylight and during a press conference, of the most important representative of the legal professions in the Province of Diyarbakir. The acquittal of the three police officers who were suspected of the crime, acquittal requested by the Prosecutor and promptly conceded by the Tribunal, constitutes at the same time the result of nine years of inexistent Investigation and the clear sign of the total lack of impartiality and Independence of the Turkish judiciary. It is an unacceptable denial of justice and affirmation of impunity, susceptible of paving the way to new horrendous crimes against the human rights defenders and the lawyers. In order to give an effective answer to this unacceptable situation, new procedural ways must be implemented, such as the European Court of Human Rights, and the solidarity for the Turkish lawyers victims of murders and arbitrary arrests must be extended. Justice and Truth for Tahir Elçi! Freedom and safety for all Turkish lawyers.

Fabio Marcelli, Copresident of the Center for Research and Elaboration on Democracy ( CRED) representative in the trial of the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights