Recommendations on the recent legislative amendments in Turkey integrating state of emergency restrictive provisions into ordinary law

Report, Shrinking Space for Civil Society, Turkey

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Ahead of the 39th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, a joint written statement by EuroMed Rights, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Insan Haklari Dernegi (İHD), and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) was submitted denouncing the recent legislative amendments in Turkey integrating state of emergency (SoE) restrictive provisions into ordinary law.

In this context, EuroMed Rights, FIDH, İHD, and OMCT urge Turkish authorities to:

  • Revoke the new Law n°7145;
  • Amend the Constitution, in particular provisions regarding the appointment of members of the Constitutional Court and of the Council of Judges and Prosecutors; Article 104 concentrating excessive powers in the hands of the Executive, weakening the role of the legislature; Article 119§1 allowing the President alone to declare SoE;
  • Review the broad definitions of “terrorism” and “propaganda” in all anti-terrorism laws and in the Penal Code and refrain from prosecuting HRDs, journalists, and other dissenting voices under terrorism charges;
  • Unconditionally drop politically-motivated charges and proceedings; release without delay the thousands of citizens arbitrarily arrested and detained or facing judicial harassment for the legitimate exercise of their fundamental freedoms;
  • Ensure effective access to remedy for those dismissed from their jobs following the decree laws adopted under the previous SoE and reinstate them without delay;
  • Amend legal provisions incompatible with the right to freedom of assembly and association;
  • Implement the provisions of the U.N. Declaration on HRDs (1998).

The above-mentioned organisations also call upon the U.N. Human Rights Council to:

  • Urge Turkey to implement the above recommendations;
  • Urge Turkey to promptly implement the recommendations accepted during its latest UPR (2015), in particular to:
  • “Continue to modify and implement its legislation on freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association in order to fully meet its international human rights obligations by, interalia, simplifying notification requirements for planned demonstrations in the spirit of peaceful freedom of assembly;”
  • “Ensure that the penal code and anti-terror laws are consistent with international obligations.”
  • Ensure that the U.N. Special Rapporteurs monitor and provide advice on the implementation of the above recommendations.

Read the full letter here.