The International Day of the Endangered Lawyer.

This January 24th, as we do each year, our Section will pause to consider the International Day of the Endangered Lawyer. This year, the focus is on Turkey due to the recent widespread arrests, detentions and dismissals of members of the legal profession in that country.

To demonstrate our support for the harassed, silenced, pressured, threatened, persecuted, tortured, disappeared and/or murdered legal professionals in Turkey, we call your attention to the following information and materials. By way of background, in the wake of the July 15, 2016 attempted coup, thousands of Turkish judges have been removed from the bench and imprisoned. Turkish prosecutors, and, in particular, bar leaders, have been arrested and jailed. Journalists in Turkey have been similarly attacked, together with thousands of civil servants, teachers, health care workers, police, and military personnel. It is a purge staggering in its breadth.

The FBA is committed to bringing this issue to the fore, and does so under the leadership of the Honorable Delissa Ridgway. Judge Ridgway has coordinated the publication of an official statement to be issued by FBA President Maria Vathis which will bring national attention to this important issue, and cement FBA's role as a national thought leader raising awareness about serious human rights and rule of law abuses around the globe.

Statement from FBA President Maria Z. Vathis on the International Day of the Endangered Lawyer

For the benefit of the entire membership, we provide the following links that will serve as a tutorial on the history surrounding this topic:

Turkey sacks 107 judges, prosecutors over links to failed coup: media (Reuters, May 5, 2017)

Turkey's purges are crippling its justice system (The Economist, May 20, 2017)

Inside Turkey's Purge (New York Times, April 13, 2017)

Turkish Trial of Lawyers is a Mockery of Justice (Jurist, October 4, 2018)

Executive Summary, U.S. State Department's Annual Country Report on human Rights Practices: Turkey (2018)

Turkey's Erdogan to build more prisons as post-coup purge persists (NBC News, Sept. 18, 2018)

We appreciate your time and attention.


The FBA International Law Section Executive Board

On 24 January of each year, legal associations and international human rights organizations around the globe observe The International Day of the Endangered Lawyer. Each year, the occasion highlights not only the general issues internationally, but also a specific country of concern. This year, that country is Egypt.

Below, please find a variety of documents about the day and its history.

Judge Delissa Ridgway, FBA ILS Board Member and Senior Counselor, was instrumental in coordinating a program with the New York City Bar:

Leaders in the legal community have issued the following statements in support of this day of observance:

ABA Presidential Statement on The International Day of the Endangered Lawyer, and to a related article in the ABA Journal.

Link to a "tweet" statement from the President of the New York City Bar:

The International Bar Association's International Human Rights Institute similarly issued a statement:

Below are a series of links that discuss what led to Egypt being selected as this year's country of concern:

Profiles of Egyptian Lawyers in the Cross-Hairs:

“Day of the Endangered Lawyer – 24 January 2018: Solidarity with Egyptian Lawyers – Basic Report” (at pages 3-9):

Interactive Map (click on Egypt):

-- Mahienour el-Massry

-- Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy

-- Mohamed Azmy

-- Azza Soliman

-- Malek Adly

-- Gamal Eid

-- Negad El Borai

-- Ahmed Ragheb

-- Nasser Amin

-- Hoda Abd El-Wahab

-- Yara Sallam

-- Haitham Mohamedein

-- Dr. Ahmad Abdallah

-- Mohamed Zaree

-- Adam al-Hawashla

-- Khaled Ali

-- Muhammad Abed

-- Ahmed Abdallah

-- Mohamed Sadek

-- Haytham Mohamadeen

-- Hisham El Dafrawy


“Day of the Endangered Lawyer – 24 January 2018: Solidarity with Egyptian Lawyers – Basic Report”:

“Amnesty International Report – Egypt – 2016/2017”:

Basic Resources:

U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges & Lawyers:

U.N. Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers:

U.N. Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary: 

U.N. Declaration on Human Rights Defenders:

 Sincerely, Mimi Tsankov Chair, FBA International Law Section


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