The CCBE (Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe) granted its 2016 Human Rights Award to four Turkish lawyers: Ayşe Bingöl Demir, Ayşe Acinikli, Ramazan Demir and posthumously to Tahir Elçi.

The UK delegation to the CCBE (of which the Law Society forms part) nominated Ayse Bingol Demir for this award and is delighted that the four lawyers have received it.

The Award ceremony took place on 2 December in Brussels. The Law Society notes that Ayşe Acinikli and Ramazan Demir were not allowed to leave the country, but sent video messages that were played during the ceremony.



Tahir Elçi was fatally shot in November 2015. The Law Society previously sent an intervention letter regarding Mr Elci’s situation and urged the Turkish authorities after his death to ensure that the investigation into his death would be undertaken fairly and expeditiously. In March 2016, an evening of commemoration was organised by the Bar Human Rights Committee and the Law Society Human Rights Committee.

Earlier this year, the Law Society, together with the CCBE and others sent a request for action to five UN Special Rapporteurs on the prolonged pre-trial detention of Ayşe Acinikli and Ramazan Demir and submitted an Amicus Curiae brief to the Turkish Constitutional Court in their case, together with Lawyers’  Rights Watch Canada. 

Read the article of the Law Society’s Gazette here