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A tribute to Tahir Elçi (1966 – 2015)
Wed 27 January 2016, 19:00 – 21:00 GMT
Prominent human rights defender and lawyer murdered in Diyarbakır on 28 November 2015
Up to 100,000 people took part in the funeral of murdered human rights lawyer Tahir Elçi on 29 November 2015. He was a principled and eloquent advocate for peace and human rights, prepared to speak up for what he believed in, whatever the cost to himself and irrespective of the interests he challenged. He will be very sorely missed.
In his life, Tahir Elçi achieved remarkable things. In the 1990s, as a lawyer in Cizre, one of the most troubled corners of south-east Turkey, he defended the rights of those detained, tortured and forcibly disappeared when it was scarcely possible to do so, risking his own life in the process. When he was forced to leave Cizre, he continued his work in Diyarbakır, as a pre-eminent lawyer taking cases to national courts and the European Court of Human Rights and worked together with national and international human rights organizations. He later became head of the Diyarbakır Bar Association, leading fact-finding missions across the south-east of Turkey.
A founding member of Amnesty International in Turkey, he has been a friend and guiding voice to us for longer still.
Tony Fisher, Law Society
Orhan Kemal Cengiz, human rights defender, writer, close friend of Tahir Elçi
Andrew Gardner, Turkey researcher for Amnesty International
Music: Olcay Bayır, London based singer, songwriter, composer
The meeting will be attended by Türkan Elçi, Tahir Elçi's wife.