UN Rights Chief Concerned Over State of Emergency in Turkey

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo/Pierre Albouy
High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo/Pierre Albouy

Raising alarm over the use of rhetoric by States that they can “solve problems” and find ways around lawful safeguards, the United Nations rights chief on Monday urged vigilance to protect and promote human rights of everyone.

“Violations by non-State actors of human rights norms, of international law, do not, and should not serve as grounds for violations thereby by Government actors,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in Geneva.

In his remarks, he expressed particular concern over the renewed state of emergency in Turkey and the human rights situation in the country.

According to reports, up to 150,000 civil servants have been suspended. Furthermore, there are reports that last week about 10,000 police officers were also suspended and some one thousand among them detained.

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“With such a large number, it is highly unlikely that the suspensions and detentions will have met due process standards,” added Mr. Zeid.

“Yes, the terror attacks need to be tackled, but not at the expense of human rights, and I am very concerned about the renewed state of emergency which was undertaken in mid-April and the climate of fear in the country,” he underscored.

He also drew attention to the dangers confronting human rights defenders, journalists and civil society members in their lines of work.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights also spoke out against the impact of human rights violations on the lives of people and the resulting increased suffering.

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