UN calls on Turkey's AKP to end state of emergency and rights violations

At opening of the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council held in Geneva, Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein drew attention to the rights violations in Turkey and called on the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government to end the state of emergency, which was declared in August last year in response to a failed coup attempt alleged to have been perpetrated by a junta within armed forces in support of AKP’s former long-time partner Fethullah Gülen, a self-exiled Islamic cleric living in the USA.

Expressing appreciation for Turkey’s concern about human rights violations in Rakhine against Muslim Rohingyan minorities, UN rights chief al-Hussein called on the government officials of Turkey to show the same concern and sensitivity regarding rights violations in their own country.

As Duygu Güvenç of Turkey’s opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet reported, al-Hussein drew attention especially to the massive detentions of journalists, judges, academics, public workers, and rights defenders in Turkey in scope of the state of emergency and urged AKP government to ‘not extend the state of emergency’, which will expire next month.

Defining the security measures taken against leftist and Kurdish opposition in the country as ‘seeming to be disproportionate and arbitrary’, Al-Hussein also mentioned that his requests from Turkish authorities regarding his upcoming visit to Turkey’s southeast with a team of human rights observers have not been met yet.

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