U.N. says Turkey may be going ‘beyond what is permissible’ on rights

ohchrlogoTurkey’s detention or suspension of more than 110,000 officials since a failed coup in July, including the arrest of pro-Kurdish lawmakers on Friday, may go “beyond what is permissible”, the United Nations’ human rights office said on Friday.

“There needs to be a presumption of innocence when you’re going to suspend somebody from their job, when you’re going to detain somebody, you need to do this in line with due process,” U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a briefing in Geneva.

“And given the numbers, we are worried this is not the case.”

The U.N. expressed concern last week about Turkey’s detentions and suspensions of elected lawmakers but the situation has worsened and the crackdown on the media is also very worrying, she said.

Turkey must ensure transparency and guarantee that its actions are governed by due process under the law, Shamdasani added.

“We are concerned that while they have declared a state of emergency and they have declared derogation of certain principles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the steps that the authorities are taking go beyond what is permissible in these cases,” she said.

Earlier on Friday, a spokesman for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, the Turkish parliament’s second-biggest opposition grouping, said the detention of its two leaders and at least nine other lawmakers risked triggering civil war.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters that elected officials who incited and encouraged terrorism must face legal proceedings and that they had been detained because they had refused to give testimony.

A car bomb killed eight people and wounded more than 100 on Friday in Diyarbakir, southeast Turkey’s largest city, he said.

(Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Andrew Roche)

– REUTERS

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