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Turkey: Fear of arrest as prisoner of conscience: Esber Yagmurdereli

, N° d'index: EUR 44/051/1997

There is concern that lawyer Esber Yagmurdereli is facing imminent arrest and imprisonment as a prisoner of conscience. He has already served 12 years of a life sentence after an unfair trial and conviction based on statements allegedly extracted under torture. In 1991 he made a speech at a meeting organized by Istanbul Human Rights Association to commemorate Human Rights Day, while he was conditionally released under an amnesty. He was sentenced to a further 10 months' imprisonment for "separatism" under Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law by Istanbul State Security Court in 1991 as a result of his speech. This sentence has now been confirmed by the Appeal Court and he faces not only this latest sentence but may have to continue serving his previous life sentence.

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