Amnesty, HRW, PEN, Article 19 urge Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe to re-open monitoring of Turkey. (HRW).
Re: Addressing the serious deterioration of human rights in Turkey
Dear Assembly Member,
We are writing, ahead of the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), to call on you to support the recommendation included in the report of the Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee) to reopen the monitoring procedure on the situation in Turkey until the grave concerns raised by the Rapporteurs are duly addressed by the Government of Turkey.
We believe that a decision by PACE to reopen the monitoring procedure would send a strong message to Turkey and indicate a commitment to holding the government and president accountable for their repeated failure to respect their obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and as a member of the Council of Europe.
Only a decision to reopen full monitoring of the situation in Turkey would acknowledge the grave human rights violations documented in the country in recent years, including the severe restrictions on freedom of expression, association and assembly, the practice of torture and ill-treatment in detention, arbitrary detentions, prosecutions, dismissals, confiscation of passports and property, and continued violence and serious abuses in South East Turkey. It would allow for greater scrutiny by members of the Parliamentary Assembly and create a more appropriate forum to debate the actions the Turkish authorities should take to address the Assembly’s concerns. It would provide a recognition by the Assembly of the rapid deterioration since July 2016 of the functioning of democratic institutions and backsliding on human rights and the rule of law in the country.
Turkey is under a state of emergency imposed after a failed coup last July, allowing President Erdoğan to head the cabinet and rule the country by decree, with weakened parliamentary and judicial oversight.
Independent mainstream media in Turkey have been all but silenced, with over 160 media outlets and publishing houses closed down since July 2016, and around 150 journalists and media workers currently jailed pending trial. Over 100,000 civil servants have been summarily dismissed or suspended without due process and over 47,000 people have been jailed pending trial. They face charges of involvement in the coup plot and of association either with the Fethullah Gülen movement, branded a terrorist organization by the government, or with Kurdish political activism that the government considers is linked to the armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Among those jailed are the two leaders of the opposition Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) and 12 other members of parliament from the party.
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