Parliament’s Human Rights Committee failing to do its job, says opposition MP

Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu

Human rights defender and deputy from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu has asked in a parliamentary question why the Turkish Parliament’s Human Rights Committee has not filed any criminal complaints concerning human rights violations since 2018.

The Human Rights Committee was established on December 5, 1990 to monitor human rights violations in the country. Despite a large number of people appealing to the committee, there has been very little investigation into allegations. According to Gergerlioğlu this makes the committee ineffective in working against human rights violations.

Gergerlioğlu said the committee was failing to carry out its duties. “Taxpayers’ money is being spent on this committee, but for what reason?” he asked. There have reportedly been 35,157 appeals to the committee in the last decade, and a total of 10,403 since 2018.

Most of the appeals – 5,591 — came from inmates claiming human rights violations in prisons. Gergerlioğlu said there has been a worrying increase in human rights violations in recent years, especially concerning prisoners’ rights.

“Some of the main problems concern accessing proper healthcare in prison, the right to a fair trial and mistreatment,” said Gergerlioğlu. “However, most of our parliamentary questions addressing the Ministry of Justice have been left unanswered.

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