United Nations Special Rapporteur David Kaye is carrying out his first official visit to Turkey this week to assess the situation of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in the country.
Geneve, Nov 14, 2016.- “Turkey faces a number of challenges right now,” said the independent expert designated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and report on violations of the right to freedom of opinion and expression across the world. “To be sure, the attempted coup in July was roundly criticized by individuals across the political spectrum in Turkey, for good reason. It was clearly an assault on democratic institutions and governance.”
“However, both before and after the attempted coup, the space for critical voices, academics, journalists, lawyers and others in civil society has been under threat,” Mr. Kaye noted. “These are among the key issues I will study during my stay in the country.”
“The visit will be an important opportunity for me to gather first-hand information on the independence of the media and the safety of journalists, activists and academics, as well as the measures taken to ensure public debate in the country,” the expert said, recalling that a previous mission* to assess freedom of expression in Turkey was conducted in 1996 by the then Special Rapporteur, Abid Hussain.
The Special Rapporteur, who visits the country at the invitation of the Turkish Government, will meet with authorities from the legislative, executive and judicial powers. He will also hold discussions with civil society representatives.
Mr. Kaye will prepare a report to the Human Rights Council on the main findings of his visit, and make recommendations on the promotion of the right to freedom of expression in Turkey.