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UN REPORT DETAILS TORTURE AND PERSECUTION IN TURKEY

Routine extensions of the state of emergency in Turkey since 15 July 2016 coup attempt have led to profound human rights violations according to a report issued by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The UN report recommends that Turkey promptly ends the state of emergency. The 28 paged report also documents the use of torture and ill-treatment in custody, including severe beatings, threats of sexual assault and actual sexual assault, electric shocks and waterboarding by police, the gendarmerie, military police and security forces. The report states that the protracted state of emergency and twenty-two emergency decrees have led to human rights violations against hundreds of thousands of people from arbitrary deprivation of the right to work and freedom of movement to torture and other ill-treatment, arbitrary detentions and infringements of the rights to freedom of association and expression. One of the most alarming findings of the report,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said, “is how Turkish authorities reportedly detained some 100 women who were pregnant or had just given birth, mostly on the grounds that they were ‘associates’ of their husbands, who are suspected of being connected to terrorist organizations. Some were detained with their children and others violently separated from them. This is simply outrageous, utterly cruel, and surely cannot have anything whatsoever to do with making the country safer.” The report recommends that Turkey promptly ends the state of emergency, restores the normal functioning of its institutions. On the other hand, the Turkish Foreign Ministry commented on the report and claimed that the UN high commissioner who prepared the report is prejudiced against Turkey.

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