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3rd comm bureau 2017Ivana Dobesova, Ignacio Sanchez Amor and Kyriakos Kyriakou-Hadjiyianni at the Annual Session in Minsk, 8 July 2017COPENHAGEN, 20 July 2017 – The three officers of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions – Chair Ignacio Sanchez Amor (Spain), Vice-Chair Ivana Dobesova (Czech Republic) and Rapporteur Kyriakos Kyriakou-Hadjiyianni (Cyprus) – today issued the following statement regarding the one-year anniversary of Turkey’s state of emergency:

“Today it has been one year since the Turkish government implemented a state of emergency following the 15 July 2016 failed coup. While reiterating our solidarity with Turkey and condemning once again the coup attempt last summer, we stress that the extraordinary measures provided by the state of emergency must be used appropriately and proportionately. The dismissals of thousands of public servants from their jobs and the lack of clear legal procedures to safeguard individual rights pose a threat to social cohesion and fundamental freedoms, and we stress that the rule of law must be upheld even in exceptional circumstances.

“We urge the government to take steps to bring the state of emergency to an end at the earliest opportunity.”

The leaders of the OSCE PA’s human rights committee reiterated previously expressed concerns over the arrests of parliamentarians, and stressed the importance of a free and vibrant media and active civil society for Turkish society. (See here and here.)

In early June 2017 a high-level delegation of the OSCE PA visited Istanbul and Ankara, meeting with senior government officials, leaders from all opposition parties represented in parliament, and human rights and free speech advocates.