UNHRC34 Side Event on Turkey: Justice and Journalism

A side event at the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC)

13th March 2017: 15.00 – 16.30

Room XXVII, Palais des Nations

ARTICLE 19, Human Rights Watch, International Federation of Human Rights, International Rehabilitation Council for Victims of Torture, PEN International, Punto 24 and Reporters Without Borders invite you to a side event to discuss the serious deterioration in human rights situation in Turkey.

Following the violent and contemptible coup attempt on 15 July 2016 and in the run up to an April referendum at which the country will vote on whether to give the president massively increased powers and to remove checks and balances on the executive, the Turkish government has pursued an unprecedented crackdown on fundamental freedoms. The right to a fair trial and the rights to freedom of expression and association have been particularly targeted. Official figures show that over 40,000 people detained in the months after the coup attempt are currently held in pre-trial detention amidst credible allegations of torture and ill-treatment in police custody. Around 100,000 civil servants, including teachers, judges and prosecutors, have been arbitrarily dismissed. The two leaders and eleven other MPs from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, the second opposition party in parliament, are in jail, and 75 municipalities in the southeast have been taken over by government-appointed trustees and elected mayors arrested.

This event will bring together journalists and human rights defenders with direct experience of the current human rights trends and concerns in the country. Many of these issues were highlighted in the initial observations of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, who will join the session, and of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, following their separate November 2016 visits to Turkey.



Katie Morris, Head of Europe and Central Asia, ARTICLE 19



Mahmut Bozarslan, Secretary General, South East Journalists Association

Hasan Cemal, President, P24

David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression (remote participation)

Emma Sinclair-Webb, Turkey Director, Human Rights Watch

Other speakers TBC


If you do not have UN accreditation to access the Palais des Nations, please email lucy@article19.org at least 72 hours in advance of the event to be added to the guest list.