Let us stand by Şiar Rişvanoğlu under threat!

Examination, diagnosis, surgery decision, post-operative care and similar tasks are important for a surgeon to do his job well. However, the surgeon’s vital activity in healing takes place in a surgery room, her tool is the scalpel and laser.

A musician improves her craft through never-ending practice. At the same time, she reads, listens and learns. But she spreads the joy of living on the stage with her tools: the baglama, the guitar, the piano, her voice.

In order to perform their job better, a lawyer has to examine laws, regulations, case records, the evidence. They have to learn about the conditions and rules of protecting human rights in Turkey and in the world. They also have to meet up with clients, visit them in prison along with many other things. However, the main venue for them to protect human rights is the court, and their tool is the word.

Attorney Şiar Rişvanoğlu is being threatened with death for not mincing his words in the courtroom, protecting all the rights of his clients; revealing evidence, direct or circumstantial, statements, testimonies in cases of violation of rights, raising his voice when officials using state power attempt to violate these rights. In short, today he is threatened with death because he does his defense properly. This socialist lawyer of workers, Kurds, oppressed women, youth, all the oppressed and victims is threatened with being silenced!

An attack was made on Şiar Rişvanoğlu’s office on a day off. The windows of the door of the building were smashed smithereens with paving stones. Then the perpetrator(s) left, leaving a note behind. The note, written on a computer printer, read: “If you continue to pester the security forces of our glorious state, many other things will be shattered and scattered. Watch your step, you odious traitor!!!!!”

There is no need to be a linguistic expert to understand what the verbs “shatter” and “scatter” mean. This is a death threat!

These “heroes” who have appointed themselves to carry out the duty of protecting our “glorious state” do not dare, of course, to sign the letter of threat. Because nobody has the prerogative of protecting the state in this way!

There are no private interests that are involved here. This terrible threat was made to protect the “security forces” in the words of the perpetrators. The urgent duty of the Ministry of the Interior is then to investigate, find and bring to justice those who are trying to protect the forces under their administration with such thuggish methods. Nobody in this country can feel “in security” unless this task is done!

This attack on Şiar Rişvanoğlu was actually done to all lawyers who strive to perform their profession properly. Today, while the government has attempted to break down and disperse lawyers’ professional organizations under the title of “multiple bar associations”, it is indeed the function of defense that is perhaps the most important basis of a country’s justice mechanism that the government is attempting to weaken, domesticate and turn into a basis for despotism. This threat aims to make that defense virtually paralyzed and all lawyers to remain silent in a state of fear in the courtroom.

That is why, each of us being oppressed under this system has to stand by Şiar Rişvanoğlu. Above all, the bar associations that the government insists on breaking apart and dispersing have to defend, individually and collectively, their colleague against these attacks and threats.

Then and only then, the courthouses can rightfully resonate with the slogan of dignified lawyers in peace of mind: “The defense has never kept silent, nor will it do in future!”


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