HR activist: Turkish gov’t human rights watchdog blind to abuses

The Turkish government’s human rights watchdog is blind to abuses happening practically in front of its eyes, human rights lawyer and outspoken government critic Kerem Altıparmak said, reported by online news portal Ahval on Wednesday.

Every day, academics and civil servants who lost their jobs under state of emergency orders seek to demonstrate by the human rights monument in central Ankara, often ending in arrests and police intervention.

“There are 150 metres between the Human Rights and Equality Institution and the human rights monument, in front of which systematic human rights abuses are taking place every day,” Altıparmak tweeted.

“And this institution is completing 2017 without carrying out any activities whatsoever. They may as well go and look at the situation of that monument!”

The president of the institution, which was established by law in April 2016 as part of the Turkish prime ministry, used Human Rights Day on Dec. 10 to lay out its priorities.

“In many places around the world, many sick ideas like Islamophobia, hate speech, xenophobia and racism both pose a threat to human honour and world peace,” Süleyman Arslan said .

However, he emphasised that Anatolian and Islamic civilisation had always held values such as human honour and human respect in high esteem.

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