Human Rights Comment
29/08/2016 StrasbourgLast March I published an Issue Paper on Missing persons and victims of enforced disappearance in Europe, aiming to help Council of Europe member states improve their law and practice. Much remains to be done, considering that thousands of cases of missing persons and enforced disappearance remain unresolved in Europe, perpetuating the suffering of their loved ones, which is passed on from one...
26/07/2016 StrasbourgIt is with profound concern that I examined the first decree with the force of law (“Kanun Hükmünde Kararname”, KHK/667) adopted within the framework of the state of emergency declared in Turkey last week. I note that Turkey has submitted a formal notice of derogation to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as foreseen under Article 15 of the Convention. As I expressed in a statement...
20/07/2016 Strasbourg"I condemn in the strongest possible terms the contemptible attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government in Turkey. I rejoice in the fact that the Turkish people unambiguously foiled this attempt, and that all democratic political currents and leaders stood united against it. There is no doubt that the perpetrators of this attempted coup, who have caused the loss of many lives and...
14/04/2016 Ankara“Respect for human rights has deteriorated at an alarming speed in recent months in the context of Turkey’s fight against terrorism” said Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights at the end of a nine- day visit to Istanbul, Diyarbakir and Ankara. The topics of the visit were balancing security and human rights in the South East, freedom of expression and the...
04/03/2016 Strasbourg“I deplore the information reported by Turkish media and the Anadolu Agency that an Istanbul court took the decision to entrust to court-appointed trustees the control of the media group to which the newspapers Zaman and Today’s Zaman belong. Considering what happened after a similar appointment of trustees to the Koza Ipek media group, I see this as an extremely serious interference with media...
18/11/2015 StrasbourgI have been informed that the round-the-clock curfew declared in three neighbourhoods of Silvan on 2 November in the framework of anti-terror operations was lifted on 14 November, after 12 days. According to information provided by the Turkish authorities on my request, four curfews had already been declared in Silvan prior to this since August 2015, the longest of which had lasted 3 days. I...
11/09/2015 Strasbourg“I have been following with increasing alarm the escalation of violence in Turkey in recent weeks. I am particularly concerned about very distressing information I have received on developments in Cizre, a city of around 100 000 inhabitants in the Şırnak Province in South-Eastern Turkey” said today the Commissioner in a statement. In the framework of anti-terror operations, a curfew was...
Human Rights Comment
17/04/2015 StrasbourgHistory continues to divide Armenian and Turkish officialdom, but there are many civil society, cultural and academic initiatives aiming to reconnect the two societies. April 24 marks the centennial of the beginning of the mass killings, deportations and dispossession of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915, which resulted in the near-total elimination of Armenians from Anatolia. These...
15/12/2014 StrasbourgI am following with deep concern the events unfolding in Turkey. The arrest yesterday of journalists and media workers is a serious setback for media freedom in the country. Irrespective of the reasons which may have motivated them, such measures are disproportionate and unnecessary in a democracy. They are as worrying as the waves of arrests of journalists in 2011 which were condemned by my...
Country visit report
26/11/2013 Strasbourg"The police's handling of demonstrations in Turkey exposes once again the long-standing, serious human rights problem of the misconduct of law enforcement officials in the country. It is time for the Turkish police to improve their record of compliance with human rights standards", said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, releasing a report on his visit to...
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