|Europeans call for an end to Turkish impunity|
|Feb 01, 2012 at 05:06 PM|
A written declaration was recently submitted to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe caling for an end to the 'persistent scourge of impunity in Turkey'. The declaration calls for more freedom of expression in Turkey including that of journalists, broadcasters and publishers and asks for a review of Turkey's systematic banning of websites and internet censorship. The group also expressed concern at the continued denial of the Greek, Armenian and Assyrian (Syriac) Genocides.
The declaration as published on the Council of Europe website:
25 January 2012
Call to draw attention to the persistent scourge of impunity in Turkey
Written Declaration No 505
This written declaration commits only the members who have signed it
The Criminal Code and the Anti-Terrorism Act continue to seriously impede freedom of expression in Turkey. The provisions of these pieces of legislation have been applied to disproportionately limit freedom of expression, including that of journalists, broadcasters and publishers. The amendments adopted so far by Turkey have not been sufficient to deal with the root causes of violations of the right to freedom of expression found by the European Court of Human Rights. We express our particular concern about the use of civil and criminal defamation provisions and invite public figures to refrain from initiating defamation proceedings which have serious effects on media freedom.
We consider that the Turkish authorities should urgently review the Internet and Radio and Television Acts and in particular recognize that systematic Internet censorship and the blocking of websites by competent administrative authorities are beyond what is necessary in democratic societies.
Recalling notably the murder of Hrant Dink, advocate of the freedom of expression, we urge the authorities to step up efforts to effectively protect journalists from violence and intimidation.
We are concerned about the continuous denial of the Genocide of Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians (Syriacs) by the Turkish authorities and the use of Article 301 of the Criminal Code for criminal persecution of journalists and writers.
We strongly condemn the continuous violations of their international obligations by the authorities of Turkey.
Signed (see overleaf)
Total : 35
1 EPP/CD: Group of the European People's Party