Thursday, January 28, 2010

Human Rights Watch Releases Turkey Report

Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently released its World Report, a country-by-country survey of the status of human rights across the world. While HRW praises the Turkish government's recent Kurdish initiative, it notes problems in Turkish courts' treating of PKK supporters the same as armed militants under Turkey's Anti-Terrorism Law. Specifically, the report mentions the number of children who have been tried under the Law. HRW also criticizes the ease of bringing charges against supporters of Kurdish rights by claiming they are members of the PKK.

Torture, detention, killings by security forces, and prison conditions remain par for the course, as does impunity (including Hrant Dink's assasination) and restrictions on the freedom of expression. Of particular concern for HRW is the Court of Cassation's unwillingness to apply the European Convention on Human Right and Fundamental Freedoms in its case law, which continues to result in Turkish citizens submitting more petitions to the Court than the citizens of any other state in the Council of Europe.

On Europe, HRW continues to see Turkey's bid for European membership as "the most important international actor with the potential to foster respect for human rights in Turkey."

The report does laud the military courts law the government passed in June, but which was just last week overturned by the Constitutional Court.

No comments: