Turkish ex-judge shortlisted for human rights prize

Turkish ex-judge shortlisted for human rights prize

Turkish ex-judge shortlisted for human rights prize A former Turkish judge was shortlisted for the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize 2017, alongside two others from Austria and Hungary. 

Murat Arslan, who has been under arrest since 2016, is described by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) as “a well-known and reputed judge.”

The former head of the now dissolved Judges and Prosecutors Union (YARSAV) “has always been a supporter of the independence of the judiciary,” the PACE statement said.

The other two nominees are the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a non-governmental human rights organization founded in 1989 and based in Budapest and Father Georg Sporschill, a Jesuit who has devoted his life to the care of the most vulnerable, notably children.

“The jury chose the candidates from among a long and well-qualified list of nominees, fully respecting the spirit and the principles of the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize,” said Sir Roger Gale, the most senior vice-president of the assembly, commenting on how the shortlist was prepared.

The winner of the prize is due to be announced at the opening of the autumn plenary session of PACE in Strasbourg on Oct. 9. 

The Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize, created in 2013, is awarded each year by PACE, in partnership with the Vaclav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation, and the support of the Czech Government. The 2016 Prize went to Yazidi human rights activist Nadia Murad.