German Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office Bärbel Kofler issued the following statement today (4 September) on what has become known as the Özgür Gündem main trial against the renowned human rights lawyer Eren Keskin and her three co‑defendants:
“I reiterate my appeal to the Turkish judiciary to grant Eren Keskin and her co‑defendants a fair trial in accordance with the rule of law – in keeping with Turkey’s international obligations.
“Freedom of the press and freedom of opinion are the backbone of any democratic, pluralistic society. Unfortunately, decisions have for some time been taken in Turkey that seek to intimidate civil society and silence critical voices. It is thus all the more important for us to keep a close watch on the trial of Ms Keskin. Her efforts to help her fellow humans and her courage to raise human rights issues time and again regardless of the risk to herself, deserve our respect.”