UN rights boss warns Turkey against ‘thirst for revenge’ after failed coup attempt
GENEVA – Reuters
REUTERS photoThe United Nations’ top human rights official urged Turkey on Aug. 10 to stem a “thirst for revenge” and uphold detainees’ right to due process following the failed July 15 coup attempt that led to the arrest of more than 16,000 people.
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, told Reuters he had no sympathy with coup plotters who sought to topple the democratically elected Turkish government on July 15, but voiced alarm at the scale of the crackdown.
In an interview in his office alongside Lake Geneva, he said he had received allegations of torture and mistreatment of detainees in Turkey and was seeking a visit by independent monitors to investigate.
Ankara rejected accusations it was carrying out a purge and described arrests and sackings as normal measures to prevent a repetition of the failed coup that killed 240 people. It accused Western allies of failing to show support over the coup attempt.
Interior Minister Efkan Ala said late on Aug. 10 that 16,899 people had been formally arrested while 5,171 were still being processed. A total of 76,100 civil servants were suspended from duty.
“What we need to put across is that the thirst for revenge ... be reined in and that proper procedures and guarantees of the pursuit of due process are upheld in respect of all these Turkish citizens not withstanding that some are believed to have turned against the authorities,” the commissioner said.