UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria: Turkey-backed SNA committed the war crimes

Syrians continue to be killed, suffer severe hardships and grave rights violations, despite a relative reduction in largescale hostilities since the 5 March ceasefire, according to the latest findings of the UN Syrian Commission of Inquiry. The Commission of Inquiry’s 25-page report released today documents continuing violations and abuses by nearly every conflict actor controlling territory in […]

Switzerland’s new “terrorism” definition sets a dangerous precedent worldwide

Switzerland’s draft anti-terrorism legislation violates international human rights standards by expanding the definition of terrorism, and would set a dangerous precedent for the suppression of political dissent worldwide, UN human rights experts* warned today. They expressed regret at the refusal of the Swiss authorities to change contentious sections of the draft law, now before parliament, […]

Iraq: Justice and reconciliation key to ending long-term internal displacement

A UN human rights expert has urged Iraq to redouble its efforts to assist and protect internally displaced persons, and support them in achieving lasting solutions, with particular care for the most vulnerable. “I commend the Government of Iraq for the measures it has taken to address internal displacement that have been instrumental in promoting […]

Remembering Srebrenica: Honour victims and survivors by preventing future atrocities

UN human rights experts today urged governments to honour victims of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide by building peaceful, inclusive and just societies to prevent a repetition of such an atrocity. “Genocides are not spontaneous,” the 17 experts said. “They are the culmination of unchallenged and unchecked intolerance, discrimination and violence.” On the 25th anniversary of the […]

Persecution of human rights defenders in Turkey

Friday’s conviction of four human rights defenders of terrorism charges in Istanbul continues a pattern of prosecutions designed to restrict human rights defenders and silence critical voices. These baseless convictions are consistent with the recent warning of Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, of a politicised Turkish judiciary criminalising legitimate and peaceful […]

Three opposition MPs in Turkey removed from office and arrested

Three opposition MPs in Turkey had their parliamentary immunity revoked and were arrested on Thursday in a re-opening of the Government’s campaign against the democratic mandate. The announcement in parliament prompted shock, anger and protests among People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies. This latest disregard for the expression of the will […]

The legacy of state of emergency rule in Turkey

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed our lives and enjoyment of rights. The now-familiar curfews and other restrictions are, in principle, permissible under human rights law (see here and here). Nonetheless, there are many unresolved questions (see here and here) and, for some, the pandemic-emergency is an opportunity to weaken democratic institutions and set permanent […]

Watching History Slowly Disappear: Hasankeyf

“Those who opposed (the project) were accused of being political. Even if you’re an environmentalist, a patriot, or animal lover, they labelled you as something else when you said ‘Stop!’ to the project. Now, we’re watching history slowly disappear” (see here) From the Bamiyan statues (see here) to the cities of Palmyra (see here) and […]

UN Condemns Iran’s Execution of Child Offenders

United Nations experts have expressed shock and dismay at Iran’s execution of a second child offender in four days amid concerns that further executions may soon take place. The executions of Majid Esmailzadeh on 18 April 2020 and Shayan Saeedpour on 21 April 2020 once again put Iran in breach of the absolute prohibition of […]

Turkey’s Campaign against Civil Society: Osman Kavala Re-Arrested

MoJust condemns the callous re-arrest of businessman, philanthropist and human rights defender Osman Kavala on charges related to the attempted coup d’état of 15 July 2016. This action demonstrates a blatant disregard for justice and human rights in the Turkish State’s ongoing campaign against critical voices. (Photo by Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) On 10 December […]