Tag - Turkey ( 10 )

News | Ahead of referendum, UN experts warn Turkey about impact of purge on rights

Apr 13 2017

GENEVA – Turkey’s state of emergency has been used as a justification to undertake massive violations of the right to education and the right to work and to plunge many civil servants into poverty, according to United Nations experts. “The dismissal of up to 134,000 public servants, without due process, compensation, or access to a proper remedy, for alleged links with organizations that the Government has chosen to proscribe, cannot be justified by reference to Turkey’s longstanding international human rights obligations,” said the experts ahead of this Sunday’s constitutional referendum. They noted that even under a state of emergency, economic, social and cultural rights can only be limited in ways that respect the basic rights themselves and ‘solely for the purpose of promoting the general welfare in a democratic society’. “But there has been no attempt to show that these blanket measures, which have destroyed the careers and livelihoods of tens of thousands of persons, satisfy such criteria in each case,” they said. The right to education has been targeted in an especially problematic way. A significant proportion of the public servants who were dismissed worked as school teachers or for the Ministry of National Education. Around 1000 schools and 15 universities are... Continue reading →

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 3, No. 5 (Issue 22) – July-August 2016

Aug 23 2016

Issue No. 22 of the Assembly and Association Briefing, the newsletter of Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. In this issue: • USA visit: Inequality casts dark shadow over assembly and association rights • UN experts urge Turkey to adhere to its human rights obligations even in time of declared emergency • Bill threatens expressive freedom in Maldives, expert warns • Israel: UN experts caution against NGO law • Rights experts condemn killing of Cambodian political analyst Kem Ley • “End police impunity” – alarm over pattern of extrajudicial killings in Kenya • Bahrain urged to end ‘systematic’ persecution of Shia • Expert urges Thailand to ensure free debate ahead of constitutional referendum • China: stop ill-treatment of Guo Feixiong • Assembly & association rights: By the numbers • Special Rapporteur news in brief: July-August 2016 • World briefing: Assembly & association rights in the news For a link to the newsletter, click on the image at right or click here (3.4MB file). To subscribe to our newsletter, please drop us a line at info@freeassembly.net with the subject line “subscribe to newsletter.” For other recent newsletters, see the links... Continue reading →

News | UN experts urge Turkey to adhere to its human rights obligations even in time of declared emergency

Aug 19 2016

GENEVA – A group of United Nations human rights experts, including Maina Kiai, urged today the Turkish Government to uphold its obligations under international human rights law, even in the current time of declared emergency following an attempted coup. The experts’ call comes as Turkey’s invocation of Article 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) enters into effect, following the Government’s proclamation of a state of emergency. The derogation provision in Article 4 allows States to temporarily relax some of their obligations under the Covenant under certain narrow conditions. Turkey signed the ICCPR in 2000 and ratified it in 2003. “The invocation of Article 4 is lawful only if there is a threat to the life of the nation, a condition that arguably is not met in this case”, the experts noted. “Even in situations that meet this high threshold, Article 4 establishes limits to how much a state may deviate from its obligations under the Covenant”, they added. “One cannot avoid, even in times of emergency, obligations to protect the right to life, prohibit torture, adhere to fundamental elements of due process and non-discrimination, and protect everyone’s right to belief and opinion,” the experts underscored. “The derogation provision... Continue reading →

Report | Turkey Communications: May 1, 2011 to February 28, 2016

Feb 28 2016

This page summarizes cases raised with Turkey by the Special Rapporteur between May 1, 2011, (when the Special Rapporteur took up his functions) and February 28, 2016 (the date of the last public release of communications). Communications are released to the public once per year. This page also contains observations on these communications and on responses received from Turkey. Communications and observations are divided into sections based upon which observation report they originally appeared. Each communication is referenced as urgent appeal (UA), allegation letter (AL), joint urgent appeal (JUA) and joint allegation letter (JAL) – the hyperlinks lead to these documents. This is followed by the date the communication was issued, as well as the case number and the State reply (also hyperlinked if available). Summaries and communications are published only in the language of submission (in the case of Turkey, English). First Report (May 1, 2011 to March 15, 2012) Joint urgent appeal, 13/10/2011. Case no. TUR 4/2011. State Reply: None to date. Alleged raids on offices and homes. Joint allegation letter, 8/2/2012. Case no. TUR 2/2012. State Reply: 26/4/2012. Alleged illegal raids on several NGOs' offices in Diyarbakir. Observations The Special Rapporteur thanks the Government of Turkey... Continue reading →

News | FOAA News Roundup: June 3, 2014

Jun 03 2014

• Indian police use water cannon to end gang-rape protest in Lucknow. (The Guardian) • As King Juan Carlos abdicates, anti-monarchy demonstrators take to the streets in Spain to demand a referendum on abolishing the monarchy. (RT.com) • Bring Back Our Girls demonstrations banned for “security reasons” in Abuja, Nigeria. Ban is “insane,” says protest group’s lawyer. (The Telegraph) • 13 demonstrators arrested in protest against Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, police (four days autopsy report revealed police had shot a homeless man in the back in March). “All we asked is to talk to the mayor,” said one protester, just before being handcuffed. (Albuquerque Journal) • British Colombia (Canada) students plan walkout to protests labor dispute between teachers and government. “We’re not taking sides,” says Grade 12 student leader. (Globe and Mail) • EU Neighborhood survey finds most of Europe’s neighbors don’t know what the term “civil society” means – but still think it can make a difference. (EU Neighborhood Info Centre) • Hungarian government raids three NGOs with ties to Norway. (Reuters) • And over the weekend, big clashes in Turkey over the one-year anniversary of the Gezi Park protests (Haaretz). Even a CNN reporter got roughed up a bit:... Continue reading →

News | FOAA News Roundup: May 30, 2014

May 30 2014

• 1,000 troops seal off one of Bangkok’s busiest intersections to prevent a protest, as deputy national police chief says protests will no longer be allowed. “We have to keep the law sacred,” he says. (ABC News) • Cambodian court convicts 25 for "acts of violence" during garment strikes - then frees them (Reuters). Related: Jeans maker Levi-Strauss reduces sourcing from Cambodia to "minimize supply-chain risk." (just-style.com) • The Economist predicts Brazil protests unlikely to disrupt the World Cup, but an early exit for the national team could spur unrest. “Social movements are quietly cheering for Brazil to lose,” remarks one activist, “even to arch-rival Argentina.” • War widows from Libera’s 14 years of conflict protest for benefits. (ABC News) • Earlier this week: Oxfam’s former head of counter-fraud jailed for stealing from charity. Pled guilty in March to making £64,612.58 in payments to fictitious firms. (Civilsociety.co.uk) • Human Rights Watch’s Phil Robertson: US diplomats should speak up on Malaysia human rights abuses (The Malaysian Insider). Also from HRW: Kyrgyzstan should reject trio of repressive legislative proposals: A “foreign agents” law for NGOs accepting foreign money, a bill criminalizing “homosexual propaganda,” and new... Continue reading →

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 1, Issue 4 (May 2014)

May 16 2014

Issue No. 4 of the Assembly and Association Briefing, the newsletter of Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. In this issue: • UN Releases Special Rapporteur Kiai’s latest report on groups ‘most at risk’ • Kiai joins UN experts in urging Azerbaijan to drop charges against human rights defenders • OSCE civil society says ‘political will’ a major obstacle in protecting right to funding • Three years after Tunisia: Thoughts on the rights to freedom of assembly and association from Maina Kiai • Narrowing space in Canada: A video from Maina Kiai • Freedom of association and assembly: By the numbers • Special rapporteur news in brief: April and May 2014 • World briefing: Freedom of assembly and association in the news For a link to the newsletter, click on the image at right or click here (1 MB file) or here (5.3 MB full resolution file). To subscribe to our newsletter, please drop us a line at info@freeassembly.net with the subject line “subscribe to newsletter.” For other recent newsletters, see the links below: The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 1, Issue 1 (Jan. 2014) The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 1, Issue 2 (Feb-March 2014) The Assembly and... Continue reading →

News | OSCE civil society: ‘Political will’ a major obstacle in protecting right to funding

May 12 2014

(WARSAW, Poland) – Political will is a major obstacle in ensuring civil society’s access to resources in many OSCE countries, according to participants in a May 7 regional dialogue organized in Warsaw by the Community of Democracies and the team of UN Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai. “It’s not a question of convincing through enough human rights laws or standards,” said one participant. Sometimes “they can’t be convinced.” The dialogue was the first event in a new two-year project focused on enhancing space for civil society and strengthening the right to access financial resources. The project was launched in February, and is being funded by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The May 7 Warsaw event looked at international human rights norms, standards and mechanisms to promote the right to freedom of association – and possible ways to strengthen these tools. More than 20 members of civil society from throughout the OSCE region participated. The focus on political will was central to the discussions, with one participant saying that talking about human rights norms to the government in his country was like “talking to the wall.” As a result, the road to ensuring civil society’s access to resources will require creative schemes and new ways of thinking, participants said –... Continue reading →

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 1, Issue 3 (April 2014)

Apr 08 2014

Issue No. 3 of the Assembly and Association Briefing, the newsletter of Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. In this issue: • ŸŸŸŸŸŸUN experts condemn mass death sentences in Egypt • UN rights experts express concern as Turkey bans Twitter and YouTube ahead of elections • China: UN experts deplore events leading to death of HRD Cao Shunli, ask for full investigation • UN experts: Venezuela must account for arbitrary detentions and violence against protesters • Thailand: 10 years after Somchai’s disappearance, family still awaiting truth and justice • Myanmar: UN expert raises alarm on Rakhine State • Assembly & association rights: By the numbers • Special rapporteur news in brief: March and April 2014 • World briefing: Freedom of assembly and association in the news For a link to the newsletter, click on the image at right or click here. To subscribe to our newsletter, please drop us a line at info@freeassembly.net with the subject line "subscribe to newsletter." For other recent newsletters, see the links below: The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 1, Issue 1 (Jan. 2014) The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 1, Issue 2 (Feb-March... Continue reading →

News | Turkey: First Twitter, now YouTube – UN rights experts concerned at attempts to restrict access before elections

Mar 28 2014

GENEVA – A group of United Nations independent experts expressed serious concern over the Turkish Government’s measures, taken in the context of forthcoming elections, to prevent access to YouTube a week after Twitter was shut down. “The right to freedom of opinion and expression is a central pillar of modern democratic societies”, the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, said. “Blocking access to YouTube and Twitter entirely unduly restricts this fundamental right. This is all the more surprising following the recent temporary court injunction against the blocking of Twitter”, he added. “Concerns about national security can be legitimate, but limitations to the freedom to seek, receive and impart information must conform to the strict test of necessity and proportionality to the aim pursued”, Mr. La Rue said. “International standards are clear: the free communication of information and ideas about public and political issues among people, candidates and elected representatives is essential,” he noted. “This requires a free press and other media to facilitate debate on public issues without censorship or restraint, in particular in the context of elections. The public also has a corresponding right to access information... Continue reading →