Aqil: The Turkish government is striking at the expense of the recommendations and continuing its crackdown on the opposition
Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights released today, February 2, 2020, a report on the results of Turkey's review at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, and the report emphasized the Turkish government's neglect of responding to dozens of international and human rights reports confirming the spread of the phenomenon of enforced disappearance, as the number of forcibly disappeared persons has reached since July 2016 to 969 cases, in addition to arbitrary detention, as more than 540 thousand people were investigated since the coup attempt in light of imposing a state of emergency and anti-terrorism law. In addition to the arrest of journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders because of their work, as more than 120 journalists are in Turkish prisons, thousands of websites and social media pages have been blocked, as well as the arrest of party leaders.
The Maat Foundation report indicated that during the review session, 124 countries submitted 321 recommendations to Turkey, and on January 30, 2020, during the report adoption session, Turkey said it would study 302 recommendations and respond to them before the start of the 44th session of the Human Rights Council. In return, Turkey rejected 19 recommendations.
The report pointed out that during the review session, many countries criticized the Turkish government, including Germany, Canada, France, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia and Finland. Where they directed criticism and recommendations on the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary, and the rights of journalists to be implemented according to the European Convention on Human Rights. At least 20 countries have made recommendations directly related to freedom of the press, such as arbitrary detention of journalists, attacks on media representatives and impunity, and censorship online and offline.
The report indicated that many of the recommendations focused on guarantees of guaranteeing the right to freedom of expression, whether through the Internet or outside, lifting the blocking of websites, and guaranteeing the right to peaceful assembly and demonstration, and many countries called for the immediate release of detainees because of their free expression of opinion, whether by demonstrating Or other means of expression, and many countries have called for the need to amend legislation, especially the terrorism law, which is inconsistent with international standards, as well as protecting the rights of minorities, which are violated by the Turkish authorities.
The report emphasized that many countries, including the United States and Sweden, demanded that Turkey not use Article 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Law as a tool of repression. Uruguay and Armenia requested the abolition of Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, which makes “insulting the institutions of the Turkish state and nation” illegal, and which Turkey keeps in effect despite the European Court of Human Rights ruling regarding the abolition of this law. Slovenia also mentioned Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code relating to “insulting the president,” and Sweden invoked Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code, which provides for imprisonment for “insulting”.
For his part, Ayman Aqil, head of the Maat Foundation, said that while Turkey has received dozens of recommendations in order to improve the human rights situation in the country, the Turkish authorities continue their crackdown against all forms of opposition, including large-scale attacks against political opponents of the rule of Turkish President Recep Tayyip. Erdogan, as well as human rights activists and journalists, which was of interest to a large number of countries during this session. Akil added that we are deeply concerned about the unprecedented levels of repression that are currently taking place in Turkey, and it is now important for all GCC states to come together to pressure the Turkish government to end its repressive policies and ensure that the Human Rights Council takes effective measures to confront the human rights crises in Turkey.
Report on the results of the Turkey 2020 review