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Former ECtHR judge: Identical uniforms for coup suspects against human rights

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Former European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) judge Rıza Türmen has said obligating all suspects in ongoing trials concerning a failed coup last year to wear identical brown uniforms is against human rights and violates the right to a fair trial, the t24 news website reported on Wednesday.

The Justice Ministry made the decision for all coup suspects to wear uniforms after Gökhan Güçlü, one of the suspects on trial for an assassination attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the night of the coup attempt, was thrown out of the courtroom on July 13 for wearing a T-shirt bearing the word “hero” on it.

Criticizing the decision as being against human rights and conventions, Türmen said: “If there is a mention of fair trial, both guilty and innocent are tried equally in a fair trial. Here, there is both an insulting act and violation of the presumption of innocence. This is not correct, it is against conventions.”

More than a dozen people have been detained, with some of them arrested by the court, for wearing the T-shirts since July 13.

Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül said that if the regulations are adopted, nearly 50,000 uniforms will be sewn by inmates and then sent to prisons holding suspects in cases involving followers of the Gülen movement, which is accused by Turkish authorities of being behind the failed coup. The movement strongly denies any involvement.

The uniforms will reportedly be sewn in prison workshops to be determined by the authorities. The sewing process has already started in two prisons in the northwestern provinces of Bursa and Balıkesir as part of the test period.

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