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Muzaffer Şakar, executive of Democrat Judiciary Association, Judge at Diyarbakır Court House and Human Rights Defender, must be released!

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Taken under custody on 11 August 2016, Muzaffer Şakar –executive of Democrat Judiciary Association and one of the judges at Diyarbakır Court House– is a human rights defender well-known to all institutions and bodies dealing with human rights issues and well-respected due to his work on human rights and specifically fair trial and problems of the judicial organs.  He served as a rapporteur of the Human Rights Institution of Turkey and, he is a human rights defender for all segments of the society.

Şakar is a jurist, who has long been raising the activities of the group that perpetrated the coup attempt within the judiciary. He is an adherent of professional ethics and principles as a jurist. His promotion as Category I judge has been delayed for four years as Şakar’s professional records were unjustly tampered with by two justice inspectors, who are still arrested due to their activities [linked to the aforementioned group]. He has waged a struggle for years against the unfair interventions of the inspectors in the personnel record. In spite of the fact that he is a successful jurist, he has been appointed to places considered as ‘exile’ and he has not been assigned active tasks. In the two books (one he wrote and the other, he contributed) he has raised the extra-legal practices and the organization, within the judicial system, of the [said] religious community since 2010.

In a time when no one talked about the irregularities and the unlawfulness within the judiciary, Şakar took up these issues with courage. While in fact everyone had to thank him, the fact that he is detained has led to serious concerns with human rights institutions.

Şakar must be released ASAP. Those who allegedly are linked with the investigated group or groups must be unearthed. Be it those in Turkey or abroad, human rights organizations will keep a close eye on the detention of Şakar and carry to the agenda any potential HR violations that may emerge.

■ Helsinki Citizens Assembly (hYd)

■ Human Rights Research Association (İHAD)

■ Human Rights Association (İHD)

■ Human Rights Agenda Association (İHGD)