State of emergency in Turkey must not rollback human rights: Amnesty International
ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
AFP photoThe three-month-long state of emergency which was declared in Turkey after the failed coup attempt should not stir a “rollback in human rights” and in protection against “arbitrary detention and torture,” Amnesty International’s (AI) Turkey researcher said on July 21.
“Emergency measures must respect Turkey’s obligations under international law, should not discard hard won freedoms and human rights safeguards and must not become permanent,” AI Turkey’s Andrew Gardner said, adding taking measures for public security was “understandable.”
“In a situation where almost 10,000 people are currently in detention, amidst allegations of ill-treatment in custody and when government ministries and media institutions are being purged, the enhanced powers afforded by the state of emergency could pave the way for a further rollback on human rights” he said.
Gardner said an extension in the state of emergency could “further undermine protections against ill-treatment as well as the right to a fair trial.”
The suspension of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which was announced by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, was “a chilling harbinger of what is to come,” he added.
“Under international law, there are certain rights, like the right to a fair trial and bans on torture and discrimination, which can never be suspended or limited in any way,” Gardner said.
AI Turkey stated that emergency measures could cause “arbitrary restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly,” while civil servants’ right to appeal their suspensions and dismissals could be refused.
“The government has abused existing laws. The state of emergency gives them increased scope to continue on this dangerous path,” Gardner said.
“Under international law, emergency measures must be necessary and proportionate in scope and duration and only used to counter genuine security threats to the nation. Critically, they must be carefully monitored, temporary, and employed judiciously, that is, only when absolutely required,” he added.
“It is vital that the Turkish government does not use the state of emergency as a pretext to clampdown on peaceful dissent even harder. Even in times of emergency, Turkey’s constitution guarantees that its obligations under international law should not be violated,” Gardner said.