European rights watchdog calls for end to Turkey's state of emergency

Turkey should begin to repeal some of the steps it has taken under the state of emergency declared after a failed coup in July, the human rights commissioner for the Council of Europe said in a report released Friday.

"Deviations from the rule of law and human rights principles may expedite the punishment of the guilty, and the commissioner understands the temptation for doing so," the report said.

"But such an approach will leave indelible scars and be immensely detrimental in the long run."

Some 31,844 people were being held in detention and 1,477 in police custody during commissioner Nils Muiznieks' visit to Turkey in September. He also estimated the number of civil servants dismissed or suspended since the coup attempt to be between 70,000 to 110,000 people, including 3,400 judges and prosecutors.

Additionally, more than a thousand non-governmental organizations and trade unions, as well as a hundred media organizations, have been dissolved.

Muiznieks said it was urgent for Turkey to restore elements of criminal proceedings, including access to lawyers. He also called on the Turkish authorities to authorize the publication of a report by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, but stopped short of backing allegations of torture.

Last update: Fri, 07/10/2016 - 10:29
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