February 23, 2018
A report released by Amnesty International on Thursday reveals that critical voices and dissent were ruthlessly suppressed in Turkey in 2017 and that a state of emergency in the country served as a backdrop for rights violations.
Amnesty International Report 2017/18 sheds light on the state of human rights during 2017 in 159 countries.
The Turkey section of the report talks about how journalists, political activists and human rights defenders were targeted due to a lack of tolerance for dissenting voices, which diminished further due to a state of emergency that was declared in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in July 2016.
The report said the state of emergency paved the way for unlawful restrictions on human rights and allowed the government to pass laws beyond the effective scrutiny of Parliament and the courts. “Over 50,000 people were in pre-trial detention on charges linked to membership of the ‘Fethullahist Terrorist Organization’ (FETÖ), which the authorities blamed for the 2016 coup attempt. A similar number were released on bail and were subjected to reporting requirements. Only a tiny minority of them were accused of taking part in the actual events of the attempted coup,” said the report.
Amnesty’s report also makes mention of how eight human rights defenders including Amnesty International Turkey Director İdil Eser were held in pre-trial detention until a trial on trumped-up charges for “membership of a terrorist organization” based on their work as human rights defenders began in October, and Taner Kılıç, chair of Amnesty International Turkey, still remains in prison due to alleged links to the Gülen movement.