Home / Ankara / Jailed Turkish Judge Murat Arslan Shortlisted to CoE’s Vaklav Havel Prize 2017

Jailed Turkish Judge Murat Arslan Shortlisted to CoE’s Vaklav Havel Prize 2017

YARSAV’s President Murat Arslan Shortlisted among the 3 final Candidates to CoE’s Vaklav Havel Prize 2017

Murat Arslan was arrested in October of 2016. Since then he has been arrested over the allegations of his ties with Gulen Network, or Fethullaist terror org (FETO).

The selection panel of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2017, under the aegis of the Council of Europe, comprising independent figures known for their expertise in the field of human rights, today drew up the shortlist of candidatures in Prague. Among the 3 shortlisted nominees figures YARSAV’s President, Judge Murat Arslan. The candidature of Murat Arslan, as President of the Turkish Association of Judges and Prosecutors YARSAV was submitted by the IAJ and the EAJ last April. It had been kept secret so far, according to the rules of the prize. Now we can rejoice for this undeniable achievement of the efforts made by IAJ and EAJ for the protection of judicial independence in Turkey and worldwide.

The selection panel of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2017, comprising independent figures known for their expertise in the field of human rights, today drew up the shortlist of candidatures in Prague. The shortlisted nominees, in alphabetical order, are:

• Murat Arslan (Turkey)
The nominee, in detention since 2016, is a well-known and reputed judge. President of the now dissolved Association for the Union of Judges and Prosecutors (YARSAV), he has always been a supporter of the independence of the judiciary.

• Hungarian Helsinki Committee
A non-governmental human rights organisation founded in 1989 and based in Budapest, it carries out a broad range of activities in the area of human rights with a particular focus on access to justice and the rights of asylum seekers, refugees and stateless persons.

• Father Georg Sporschill (Austria)
A Jesuit who has devoted his life to the care of the most vulnerable, notably children. He has set up an association (Elijah) which carries out numerous projects in Austria, Bulgaria, Republic of Moldova and Romania.

Chairing the meeting of the selection panel, Sir Roger Gale, the most senior Vice-President of the Assembly, said: “the jury chose the candidates from among a long and well-qualified list of nominees, fully respecting the spirit and the principles of the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize”.

The winner of the prize, which rewards individuals or organisations judged to have undertaken outstanding action in defence of human rights, is due to be announced at the opening of the autumn plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg on 9 October 2017.

The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, created in 2013, is awarded each year by the PACE, in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation, and the support of the Czech Government. The Prize consists of a sum of €60 000, a trophy and a diploma. The 2016 Prize went to Yazidi human rights activist Nadia Murad.

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