The Law Society of England and Wales has condemned the mass arrest of more than 50 lawyers in Istanbul.

The lawyers were taking part in a peaceful protest inside the Çağlayan Court, near Taksim Square, when they were arrested, detained and reportedly beaten by the police.

The lawyers’ arrest coincides with reports of widespread protests and police brutality in Turkey.

Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, President of the Law Society, said:

“We are extremely concerned to hear about the latest in a series of mass arrests of lawyers in Turkey.

“A trend appears to be emerging in Turkey with regards to the persecution of lawyers carrying out their legitimate duties. This trend is deeply worrying.

“We are aware that in the last year, more than 60 lawyers have been arrested in Turkey. This suggests that judicial harassment against lawyers has became large-scale and systematic.”

Earlier this year, the Law Society sent a representative to participate in an international trial observation of the infamous KCK (Koma Civakên Kurdistan) case, which saw over 40 lawyers prosecuted in a mass trial.