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ramazan demir

Ramazan Demir

HRD, Lawyer
Lawyers Association for Freedom (Özgürlükcü Hukukçular Derneĝi – ÖHD)

Ramazan Demir is a human rights lawyer working for the Lawyers Association for Freedom (Özgürlükcü Hukukçular Derneĝi – ÖHD), an organisation that provides legal aid, actively advocates for more democratic laws in Turkey and has exposed numerous human rights violations perpetrated in the regions of the country under curfew. Ramazan Demir and Ayşe Acinikli, together with their colleagues, have been providing legal defence to forty-six lawyers who were arrested in 2011 on suspicion of “working for or belonging to a terrorist organisation” for defending members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Human rights defenders in Turkey have been subjected to harassment, threats, surveillance, violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly, judicial harassment including criminal prosecution, violent attacks, prolonged arbitrary detention and ill-treatment. They become target for their work on denouncing impunity for serious human rights violations, defending sexual rights, investigating on ultra-nationalist networks, advocating for labour rights or defending the right to conscientious objection.

Turkey's overly broad definition of terrorism allows for arbitrary imposition of the terrorism charges against individuals about whom there is little evidence of logistical or material support for terrorism. Scores of people are arrested and charged with terrorism-related offences for voicing their concern on the Kurdish issue through non-violent speeches and writings. They include political figures, serving mayors, human rights lawyers, journalists, intellectual, academics and human rights defenders – all invariably accused of links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan, PKK) or the Kurdistan Communities Union (Koma Ciwakên Kurdistan, KCK).