Sunday, January 18, 2009

HRW Turkey Report

Human Rights Watch released its world report on the status of human rights in countries. Summarizing the state of human rights in Turkey, HRW cited the increase in police abuse it documented in detail in its December report, as well as the continued use of torture, ill-treatment, and killing by security forces. HRW writes these abuses are aggravated by the impunity of police and security forces. In addition, the report documents continued limitations on freedoms of expression, assembly, and association, the continued harrassment and persecution of human rights defenders, and the continued killing of civilians by the PKK. The report also recommends the revivification of the reform proces, and notes the important role of the EU and the ECHR in the protection of human rights. From HRW:
The European Union remains the most important international actor with the potential to foster respect for human rights in Turkey. The public hostility of some EU member states, notably France and Germany, to eventual EU membership for Turkey—even if those countries did not block Turkey-EU negotiations—lessened the EU’s leverage. The European Commission commented on the continuing lack of progress on human rights in its annual progress report published in November.

At this writing, the European Court of Human Rights has issued 210 judgments against Turkey in 2008 for torture, extrajudicial execution, unfair trial, and other violations.
For the full report, click here. See also HRW's report, "We Need a Law for Liberation," on the discrimination of and violence committed against Turkey's LGBT community. To compare this report with that of last year, click here.

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