MIL-OSI NGOs: Türkiye: Acquittal of three police officers for involvement in killing of human rights lawyer a huge blow to justice  

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Source: Amnesty International –

Reacting to today’s verdict that three police officers were cleared of ‘causing death by culpable negligence’ in the killing of prominent human rights lawyer Tahir Elçi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Europe, Dinushika Dissanayake said:

“Almost nine years after Tahir Elçi was killed in broad daylight, today’s verdict is a huge blow to his family and the wider human rights community in Türkiye. 

“It is a bitter irony that Tahir Elçi’s life was cut short by the very violence he was campaigning to end and justice has been sidestepped as a result of the endemic impunity that he dedicated his life to eradicate

Dinushika Dissanayake, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Europe

“The decision brings into sharper focus the abject failure of the authorities to conduct a thorough, prompt, independent and impartial investigation into his killing, which has allowed those responsible for it to evade justice. 

“It is a bitter irony that Tahir Elçi’s life was cut short by the very violence he was campaigning to end and that justice for his killing has been sidestepped as a result of the endemic impunity that he dedicated his life to eradicate. The failure of the authorities to hold those responsible for his killing to account is a thorn in the heart of his loved ones and a stain on the justice system in Türkiye.” 

Background 

Tahir Elçi was the President of Diyarbakır Bar Association, and worked to help victims of human rights violations get justice, campaigning for an end to violence and respect for the rights of the Kurdish people. 

He was shot in the head on 28 November 2015, shortly after giving a statement at a press conference in the city of Diyarbakır and the investigation into his killing was flawed.

A 2019 report by Forensic Architecture concluded that Tahir Elçi was most likely killed by one of three police officers present at the scene. Their report and the accompanying video are available here. It is only after their investigation that an indictment in which three police officers faced charges of causing death by culpable negligence was accepted in March 2020.

For more information on his case click here

MIL OSI NGO