The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) placed Turkey on a monitoring watchlist for its bleak record of human rights violations and pressure on dissenting voices in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt, on Tuesday.
Strasbourg-based PACE decided to reopen political monitoring of Turkey “until its concerns are addressed in a satisfactory manner.” A vote to put Turkey on notice passed with 113 votes in favor versus 45 against with 12 abstaining votes.
The last time, Turkey, a founding CoE member was under monitoring process is between 1996 and 2004. Also, Turkey become the first country to be placed under CoE monitoring for a second time.
The PACE stated that Turkey had gone off the democratic path with a sweeping purge of state institutions as well as human rights violations in the military operations in the southeastern part of the country. PACE also blasted Turkey for lifting of immunities of pro-Kurdish deputies and imprisoning them along with journalists over terror charges.
“The resolution adopted calls on the Turkish authorities urgently to take measures such as lifting the state of emergency ‘as soon as possible’, halting the promulgation of emergency decree laws which bypass parliamentary procedures ‘unless strictly needed’ and releasing all the parliamentarians and journalists detained pending trial. It also calls on them to establish the Inquiry Commission on State of Emergency Measures, ensure fair trials with respect for due procedural guarantees and take urgent measures to restore freedom of expression and the media,” a statement by PACE read on Tuesday.
Only last week, the Council of Europe’s anti-torture committee announced that the Turkish government did not give it permission for a report on Turkish prisons to be published. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said in earlier reports that there were credible evidence that Turkey’s post-coup detainees are being subjected to torture and maltreatment.
According to a statement from Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on April 2, a total of 113,260 people have been detained as part of investigations into the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding the July 15 coup attempt, while 47,155 were put into pre-trial detention. Those imprisoned were stripped of some of their legal rights under post-coup emergency rules.
Meanwhile, some 135,000 people have lost their jobs amid post-coup crackdown.