Human rights body calls on int’l sister bodies for documentation visits to Turkey
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
the TİHV called on these organizations to act by “immediately visiting Turkey and activating international mechanisms – to which Turkey is a party – via reports that they will draft,” a written statement released by the foundation said. HDN photo by Emrah GürelThe government’s insistence on ignoring widespread demands to put an end to the brutality against ongoing protests all over the country is indicative of “a mind eclipse” which should immediately end, a leading human rights organization of Turkey has said.
In addition to the government, the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) also appealed to international mechanisms which have been authorized – via the international documents to which Turkey is a party – to prevent human rights violations. The human rights body asked for special attention to the content of pepper and tear gas used by police against demonstrators.
“The process of inviting representatives of these international bodies has officially begun as of today,” Metin Bakkalcı, secretary-general of the TİHV, told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday, referring to the invitation letters sent to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association; the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression; the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture; the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions; the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights; the Council of Europe (CoE) Commissioner for Human Rights; and the CoE’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT).
In its letters, the TİHV called on these organizations to act by “immediately visiting Turkey and activating international mechanisms – to which Turkey is a party – via reports that they will draft,” a written statement released by the foundation said.
“In regards to bringing an end to violence without causing further grievances, I hope that this irrationality will stop,” Bakkalcı said in a brief telephone conversation.
“We are all screaming, but we have not been able to reach them,” Bakkalcı said, when asked whether he was hopeful that the governing officials would eventually become aware of this irrationality.
“I witnessed myself that even their close friends cannot reach governmental officials, this is unbelievable, particularly when one takes into consideration the fact that there is a deputy prime minister in charge of human rights and there are related commissions in this country. This mind eclipse cannot go on like this, that’s for sure, as long as people do not suffer anymore,” Bakkalcı said, with a tone of resentment in his voice.
News reports said that a 26-year-old demonstrator in Ankara, Ethem Sarısülük, suffered brain death as he was shot in the head.
When asked whether he was in a position to confirm these reports, Bakkalcı referred to the written statement by the TİHV which said, “There are extremely persuasive and strong claims about brain death of a young person of ours in Ankara as of last night [June 2] due to these attacks, which have been launched violently. We are very sorry.”
Bakkalcı, nonetheless, stressed that “since the ongoing process is an extraordinary one, it also led to preventing a healthy environment of debate.”
Warning against chemical agents
The TİHV statement urged attention to the intense use of gas which is “a weapon produced from chemical agents,” while Bakkalcı underlined the need for the careful assessment of health records by institutions concerning respiratory system and cardiac complaints along this process.
“During these attacks, thousands of people have been wounded in various parts, particularly suffering head traumas, because of extremely intense use of gas which is a ‘weapon produced from chemical agents’; of canisters and gas bombs which have been used via aiming like firearms…,” the TİHV said, while also listing the use of pressurized water, plastic bullets and beatings as other reasons for traumatic injuries.