UN human rights chief urges Turkey to end state of emergency
BERLIN – The Associated Press
The United Nations’ top human rights official has called on the Turkish government to lift the country’s state of emergency immediately, arguing that harsh penalties for dissent are hard to reconcile with “credible elections.”
Turkey is due to hold snap presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24, under a continuing state of emergency that was declared after the July 2016 coup attempt.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said in a statement on May 9 that “the space for dissent in Turkey has shrunk considerably” over the past two years. He specifically pointed to the jailing of journalists and arrests during May Day protests.
“It is difficult to imagine how credible elections can be held in an environment where dissenting views and challenges to the ruling party are penalized so severely,” al-Hussein added.