Statement delivered on UNHRC session calls for Turkey’s state of emergency to be ended

BİRGÜN DAİLY 20.06.2017 17:12
Statement delivered on UNHRC session calls for Turkey’s state of emergency to be ended
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On the 35th Special Session of UN Human Rights Council held on 15 June 2017, PEN International and ARTICLE 19 delivered a joint oral statement on the continued ‘deterioration of freedom of expression and other human rights in Turkey’ witnessed since the declaration of a state of emergency in response to the failed coup attempt of last summer and a massive crackdown which followed afterwards.

In the statement, the representatives urged the members of the Council and the observer states to call on the authorities in Turkey to: ‘Immediately release all those held in prison for exercising their rights to freedom of opinion and expression; permit the reopening and independent operation of closed media outlets and halt executive interference with independent news organizations; uphold the independence of the judiciary…; and, to end the state of emergency’.

Released a day before the 100th day of the hunger strike of Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, the statement said ‘Instead of addressing their plight, the Turkish authorities arrested them (Gülmen and Özakça) last month and they remain in detention. Tomorrow marks the 100th day of their hunger-strike. Instead of teaching their students now they are facing death.’

Massive imprisonments without proper due process; ongoing pressure on the Kurdish population in the country’s southeast; lack of judicial independence; and, detention of journalists, as well as, HDP MPs were among the issues requiring urgent attention.

The statement delivered at the session was also supported by a number of prominent artists and human rights activists from Turkey.


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