“Emergency measures must respect Turkey’s obligations under international law, should not discard hard won freedoms and human rights safeguards, and must not become permanent”, while taking measures for public security is “understandable”, said Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s Turkey researcher.
“In a situation where almost 10,000 people are currently in detention, amidst allegations of ill-treatment in custody, and when government ministries and media institutions are being purged, the enhanced powers afforded by the state of emergency could pave the way for a further roll back on human rights” he said.
Concerns for ill-treatment
According to Amnesty’s researcher, an extension in the state of emergency could “further undermine protections against ill-treatment as well as the right to a fair trial”.
The suspension of the European Convention on Human Rights, which was announced by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım is “a chilling harbinger of what is to come” Gardner urged. “Under international law, there are certain rights, like the right to a fair trial and bans on torture and discrimination, which can never be suspended or limited in any way.”
“Arbitrary restrictions on freedom of expression, peaceful assembly”
Amnesty Turkey stated that emergency measures could cause “arbitrary restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly”, while civil servants’ right to appeal their suspensions and dismissals could be refused. “The government has abused existing laws, the state of emergency gives them increased scope to continue on this dangerous path” said Gardner.
“Under international law, emergency measures must be necessary and proportionate in scope and duration and only used to counter genuine security threats to the nation. Critically, they must be carefully monitored, temporary, and employed judiciously, that is, only when absolutely required.”
"International law cannot be violated even in times of emergency"
“It is vital that the Turkish government does not use the state of emergency as a pretext to clampdown on peaceful dissent even harder. Even in times of emergency, Turkey’s constitution guarantees that its obligations under international law should not be violated.”