Amnesty International today condemned a controversial “domestic security bill” currently before the Turkish Parliament. Issuing an urgent action to its worldwide membership, Amnesty stated that the legal changes “threaten human rights, including the prospect of increased arbitrary detention, excessive use of firearms by police and politically motivated criminal investigations if passed into law.” Other human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, have raised similar concerns.
Amnesty highlighted for “particular concern” “amendments expanding the authority of police to use firearms”:
Amnesty International has documented the excessive use of firearms by police in Turkey including violations of the right to life. The draft provisions contradict international human rights standards on the use of force found in the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.
Other areas of concern highlighted by Amnesty included “vaguely worded provisions giving powers to the police to detain individuals without an order” and provisions which risk further politicizing prosecutors and the police.
How to take action:
1. Amnesty International – Turkey has created an online petition which allows you to voice your opposition to this bill easily. The text of the petition is only in Turkish but closely matches the English version, here.
2. Write directly to Turkish authorities, in Turkish or your own language, voicing your opposition to the bill:
– Calling on the authorities to immediately withdraw the bill from discussion in Parliament;
– Calling on them to put in place a meaningful public consultation prior to the adoption of such wide-ranging security measures;
– Calling on them to ensure any future security related amendments are in full compliance with international human rights law and standards.
Further information and addresses for letter-writing can be found in PDF format here.
Please take action today and share broadly on social media outlets.