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Outstanding Human Rights contribution recognised

Turkish human rights lawyer, Ramazan Demir has been awarded the 2017 IBA Human Rights Award for his outstanding contribution to the promotion, protection and advancement of the human rights of all, and of the Kurdish people in Turkey in particular.

The Lawyers for Lawyers organisation nominated the “prominent and fearless defender of the rule of law and human rights” for the IBA Human Rights Award.

Ramazan received the award at the IBA conference in Sydney where the crowd heard of his courage and determination in representing victims, journalists, and lawyers many of which have faced horrific atrocities at the hands of local forces in the Kurdish areas of Turkey.

Ramazan has continued his human rights work in Turkey, despite suffering tremendous personal consequences as a result. Due to his human rights work, Ramazan has had criminal charges brought against him twice, most recently in April 2016 which saw Ramazan charged with terrorist related activities, because of his work for TUAD (an association for relatives of prisioners in Southeast Turkey).

The trial is on-going, however Ramazan has not been deterred, he re-commenced his work for victims of human rights violations and continues working for them today.

The IBA Human Rights Award is presented to a legal practitioner (whether in private practice, public interest, employment as a legal adviser, academia, bar leadership or other regulation of the profession) who, through personal endeavour in the course of such practice, is deemed to have made an outstanding contribution to the promotion, protection and advancement of the human rights of all, or any group of, people, particularly with respect to their right to live in a fair and just society under the rule of law.

The Law Council congratulates Ramazan on the awarding of this highly deserved honour and on behalf of the Australian legal profession would like to thank Ramazan for the work he has done to uphold and protect the rule of law in Turkey despite the enormous challenges he has faced.

Pictured: Morry Bailes, President-elect, Law Council of Australia and Ramazan Demir, 2017 IBA Human Rights Award winner.

Pictured: Dr Phillip Tahmindjis AM, Director of the IBAHRI, Ramazan Demir, 2017 IBA Human Rights Award winner, Baroness Helena Kennedy, Co-Chair of the IBAHRI and Martin Šolc, President of the IBA. 

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