Human Rights Council 35th Universal Periodic Review, Republic of Turkey
NZ Statement delivered by Jillian Dempster, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Geneva, 28 January 2020
Thank you Madam President
New Zealand commends the Republic of Turkey for its generous hosting of over 3.6 million Syrian refugees and acknowledges its commitment to the 16 UN human rights instruments to which it is a signatory.
New Zealand notes the lifting of the State of Emergency in Turkey in July 2018, but remains concerned that some of the restrictions put in place following the unfortunate 2016 coup attempt can be used to silence legitimate political dissent.
We recommend that Turkey:
• Take steps to encourage freedom of expression, including freedom of the press, association and peaceful assembly and to align its legislation in this respect with its obligations and commitments under relevant international law;
• Ensure that human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists are not subjected to intimidation or arbitrary arrest in undertaking their work;
• Ensure full compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights law by its forces, and does not provide support to forces known to, or suspected of, non-compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights law.