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Rights advocates decry mass detention of Turkish lawyers

Rights advocates decry mass detention of Turkish lawyers

One suspect who was detained and later released told HRW police detained her at 5:30 a.m. Sept. 11 and confiscated electronic devices from her home.

“Equating lawyers with the profile of those they are defending is a really, really dangerous path to go down, and it absolutely contravenes the principles of what the role and function of a lawyer is,” Emma Sinclair-Webb, Turkey director for Human Rights Watch (HRW), told Al-Monitor.

Rights advocates said the investigations were targeting lawyers for representing clients accused of terror links, adding the operation threatens suspects’ rights to legal defense and broader rule of law norms in Turkey.

ISTANBUL — A growing chorus of international human rights groups are raising concern over the ongoing detention of dozens of Turkish lawyers suspected of fostering links to a terrorist organization through their professional activities.

Sinclair-Webb warned that if lawyers are subjected to investigations for representing suspects with alleged Gulen movement links, such operations could easily expand to lawyers representing defendants linked to other groups in the country.

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