UCL Faculty of Laws


Professor Philippe Sands: 'Behind bars with Turkey's imprisoned writers'

17 May 2018

Professor Sands spoke to his friend Ahmet Altan, a Turkish journalist imprisoned for life

Professor Philippe Sands

An article by Professor Philippe Sands, QC, about two Turkish journalists imprisoned for life on charges of treason, has been published in the Financial Times.

The piece was written after Professor Sands's visit to Istanbul to deliver the annual Mehmet Ali Birand Lecture, organised by the press freedom group P24 and delivered at the Swedish Consulate General.

Ahmet Altan, 68, is one of tens of thousands arrested since 2016 for criticising Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government.

Professor Sands, who represents Mr Altan and his younger brother Mehmet at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, said:

'[Lawyers and writers] know how words are apt to be interpreted in different ways, and we know too that is their beauty, and their danger.'

Read the article