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Response to postponement of visit of UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to Turkey

    September 21, 2016

    Responding to news that the government of Turkey has postponed the visit of Juan E. Méndez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Director for Europe said:

    “The postponement this visit is a setback for those concerned about human rights in Turkey. Following the failed coup, credible evidence emerged that detainees were being subjected to beatings and torture in official and unofficial detention centres. There have also been allegations of severe overcrowding and poor conditions in many places of detention across the country.”

    “Whilst official statements that Turkey has a policy of zero tolerance policy toward torture are welcome, these need to be backed up with greater transparency. Despite pledges by the Turkish authorities to allow independent international monitors to visit all detainees in the places they are being held, so far only one body - the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) - has been granted such access.”

    “The authorities must bring to justice those responsible for unlawful killings and other human rights abuses during the coup attempt. But this must be done in a manner that respects the right to fair trial, the prohibition of torture and other human rights. Considering that Juan E. Méndez will step down from the mandate at the end of October, we trust that new dates for the visit can be speedily agreed with his successor.”

    NOTES

    The UN visit was scheduled to take place from 10 to 14 October 2016. According to the Special Rapporteur, the Turkish government has proposed to postpone the visit until November or December 2016.

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    For media inquiries, please contact Jacob Kuehn // 613-744-7667, ext 236 // email: jkuehn@amnesty.ca