Dear members of the IAP Executive Committee and the Senate,
The undersigned organisations appeal to you to take steps to ensure prosecutors comply with the Standards of Professional Responsibility and Statement of the Essential Duties and Rights of Prosecutors .
By fighting crime in a professional and legal manner, prosecutors play an essential role in protecting the rights and freedoms of the inhabitants of the country they are serving. We recognise the commitment and sacrifice that in many cases are required from prosecutors to fulfil this role in a proper manner.
At the same time, we observe situations in which prosecutors are involved in procedures and prosecutions that violate basic rights laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent international covenants, conventions and other instruments, to which the Standards of Professional Responsibility and Statement of the Essential Duties and Rights of Prosecutors  as well as national professional ethical standards refer.
A particularly worrying development is the increase in the prosecution of Human Rights Defenders (persons and organisations covered by the 1998 UN Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ). The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in 2013 reported that she had seen “the space for civil society and defenders visibly shrink in certain regions of the world”, accompanied by “the consolidation of more sophisticated forms of silencing of their voices and impeding their work, including the application of legal and administrative provisions or the misuse of the judicial system to criminalise and stigmatise their activities.” 
The precise role of prosecution services and individual prosecutors in these practices depends on the design of the judiciary system in the respective countries, but in most if not all cases they will be in direct violation of key provisions of the Standards of Professional Responsibility and Statement of the Essential Duties and Rights of Prosecutors. The International Association of Prosecutors should in our view urgently develop procedures to address this gap between professional ethics and practice ..