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Hyestart Calls on UN Special Procedures to Engage in the Pinar Selek Case

Updated: Apr 16, 2021


Pinar Selek persecuted human rights defender

Pinar Selek is the symbol of the other Turkey, a Turkey that must be able to continue to think, create, organize, resist even. For this, Pinar needs the support of all, including the institutions of the international community in charge of defending human rights. This is why Hyestart, which is firmly committed to promoting cultural democracy in Armenia, Turkey, Georgia and Iran, is today calling on the United Nations Special Procedures (in particular, the special rapporteurs on the independence of judges, freedom of expression, the situation of human rights defenders and torture) to engage in the case of Pinar Selek directly with the Turkish authorities.

Since 1998, Pinar Selek, now a refugee in France, has been subjected to a Kafkaesque trial, but she resists, even if it is often difficult. In 1998, she was arrested and accused of being involved in an explosion that killed seven people on the basis of the confessions of a witness who subsequently retracted his testimony. She spent two and a half years in prison. She was tortured. Numerous reports by experts show that the explosion cannot be due to a bomb. In 2014 she was acquitted for the 4th time, but the prosecutor appealed once again. On 25 January 2017, after an endless wait, the prosecutor of the Supreme Court revived the prosecution, demanding a life sentence.

The proceedings have lasted 19 years. The case is so complex that it makes one's head spin. When we look at the history of this trial, we can see the extent of the fierceness of a judicial system whose independence is called into question and which does not hesitate to harass human rights defenders such as Pinar Selek or Ragip Zarakolu.

Together, from the simple citizen to the international bodies in charge of defending human rights, let us commit to defend human rights and democracy in Turkey at this critical time.

(Photography from AFP)

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