European Union leaders should consider economic pressure against Turkey to end post-coup human rights abuses, Human Rights Watch said in a written statement on May 23.

“A meeting planned for May 25, 2017, between European Union leaders and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey should signal that discussion of upgraded economic cooperation is dependent on Ankara’s willingness to tackle its human rights and rule of law crisis,” HRW said.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk are expected to meet with Erdogan on the sidelines of the NATO summit meeting in Brussels on Thursday.

“Presidents Juncker and Tusk should convey the message that with Turkey’s EU accession stalled, deeper economic cooperation under a possible new customs union will depend on Erdoğan ending the deplorable crackdown in Turkey and taking steps to uphold human rights and the rule of law,”  Lotte Leicht, EU director at Human Rights Watch said.

Turkey has detained more than 120,000 and arrested some 50,000 people over alleged or real ties to perceived terror groups in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt. Meanwhile, some 130,000 have lost their jobs amid post-coup purge.

Torture and other types of maltreatment have become common occurrence in prisons of Turkey, also the biggest jailer of journalists in the world.

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