Human rights groups say Turkish gov’t uses coronavirus to restrict freedoms

Duvar English

Two human rights groups have said that the Turkish government is using the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to restrict freedoms.

In a report on the rights violations in the past five months, the Human Rights Association (İHD) and the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) said that the freedom to assemble and demonstrate are constantly banned over coronavirus.

They also said that those detained are subjected to violence, torture and mistreatment. Some 1,000 people suffered from the said practices at the hands of the security forces in the past five months, the report said.

According to the report, two people were killed as a result of the fire opened by security forces in two different incidents between Jan. 1 and June 1.

Use of torture and physical violence

At least 48 incidents involving police brutality took place in the said time period, the report noted, adding that 35 people were wounded during these.

“Seventeen of the 48 incidents in question occurred over failing to meet coronavirus measures and 29 people were subjected to physical violence, torture and other types of mistreatment by security forces. Four people were founded during these,” the report read.

“Security forces dispersed 363 protests, commemorations, celebrations, press releases, peaceful demonstrations and similar assemblies through use of physical violence in the first five months of this year and detained 754 individuals. Sixteen people were wounded,” it added.

Leftist protesters are detained by police attempting to reach Taksim square during a three-day curfew amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Istanbul, Turkey, May 1.

The groups reminded the government that torture and mistreatment are crimes, adding that no unusual circumstance can be cited as a reason for torturing people.

“No unusual circumstances, whether it be a state or threat of war, political instability or any other extraordinary events, can be given as a reason to apply torture,” they said.

The groups also urged the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to halt violence of the security forces and abandon policies and discourse on discrimination and hate.

In the statement, the rights groups said that there has been a serious regression in the basic rights and freedoms in Turkey since the end of the peace process between the state and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) ended and clashes re-erupted in 2015.

from Duvar English

About CHP EU Representation

The CHP was founded on 9 September 1923, about one and half month before the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The first President of modern Turkey’s oldest party was M. Kemal Atatürk. Today CHP is a social-democratic party, member of the Socialist International and associate member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament. The scope of the CHP bureau in Brussels is not limited to the bilateral framework of Turkey's EU accession process. Issues such as the information society, energy policies, social development, climate change, international trade and security are among the different focus areas. The EU-Turkey relations are about integration and need multiple, plural and horizontal channels of communication. The CHP supports and promotes Turkey's EU membership process also by being more present and active in Brussels The CHP's Representative to the EU is Ms Kader Sevinç who previously worked as an MEP advisor at the European Parliament and in the private sector.
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