Human Rights Concerns: INJustice and Disrespect for Rule of Law

The Turkish judiciary has disregarded fair trial guarantees and due process and continues to apply broadly defined anti-terrorism laws to punish acts protected under international human rights law. Some members of the judiciary and legal profession are subjected to sanctions for the legitimate exercise of their professional duties. The judicial harassment of individuals such as journalists, politicians, activists, social media users and human rights defenders for their real or perceived dissent continues unabated.

In 2020, four human rights defenders, including Taner Kılıç, were convicted in the baseless Büyükada trial. Despite his acquittal in the Gezi trial and a European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruling for his release, Osman Kavala remains in prison. In December 2021, a majority vote of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers began the formal process of infringement against Türkiye for failing to release Kavala.

Discrimination and violence against women and LGBTQ+ persons is an ongoing problem. The country officially withdrew from the Istanbul convention, which offers a legal framework to protect women from violence and promote gender equality, through legislation, education and awareness raising.on July 1, 2020. Comments by a senior state official against LGBTI people are endorsed by some government officials, including President Erdoğan. However, in a rare bit of good news, in October 2021 Ankara Criminal Court of First Instance to acquit 18 students and an academic who were prosecuted for taking part in a campus-based Pride parade at Middle East Technical University (METU) in May 2019.

Credible reports of torture and other ill-treatment continued to be made.

TOPSHOT – Turkish anti-riot police officers try to disperse a rally marking the International Women’s Day in Istanbul on March 8, 2019. – Istanbul police fired tear gas at thousands of women who took to the city’s central avenue on International Women’s Day on March 8 in defiance of a protest ban to demand greater rights and denounce violence. (Photo by Yasin AKGUL / AFP) (Photo credit should read YASIN AKGUL/AFP via Getty Images)
Government Relations, Police and Human Rights  

Amnesty International USA Written Testimony on Human Rights in Turkey for Feb. 16 Helsinki Commission Briefing

February 17, 2022 | Government Relations

Monday 4 June, Amnesty International placed a giant heart balloon outside the Parliament in Budapest. The 10x10x5 meter red heart was there to tell Hungarian MPs that people working for a fair and safe Hungary need to be protected, not attacked or threatened. Therefore, the draconian legislative proposal submitted by the government to the Parliament – dubbed ‘Stop Soros’ and aiming to criminalise those helping refugees and migrants and to instil fear and silence civil society – must be voted down. . The face of the heart balloon installation was the “Civil” symbol – – logo of over 250 organizations working in coalition in Hungary for rights and freedoms. The giant heart is a symbol of the strong and heartfelt worldwide support for civil society, organisations and activists, working for a Hungary that is fair and safe for all. More than 22,000 people from 50+ countries around the world have sent messages of support to NGOs in Hungary both offline and online, which have also been collected in a booklet of solidarity that was handed over to MPs.

Sheet of paper Report

Mass protests in Europe provide hope as rights and judicial independence eroded

April 16, 2020 | Human Rights Defenders