Joint Statement: NGOs call on the EU to consider sanctioning Turkey’s human rights abusers

joint-statement 15.12.2020

Statement on European Union’s new Global Human Rights Sanctions (The Magnitsky Law) and Turkey

We, the undersigned organizations, welcome the European Union’s new Global Human Rights Sanctions (The Magnitsky Law) regime which will enable the EU to address serious human rights violations and the abuses that are taking place in many parts of the World without any consequences.

Globally, the Magnitsky Law has proved to be a powerful tool with which to hold human rights abusers accountable and to deter repeated abuses.

EU has a very important interest in fighting against human rights abuses. When it comes to a candidate country, this interest has paramount importance. New Global Human Rights Sanctions cover torture, arbitrary detention and the systematic violation of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

As has been established in the EU’s own reports(i), the situation in Turkey, in terms of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, has been miserable for years. Turkish civil society and all opposition groups are plagued by torture, ill-treatment, arbitrary detention. Currently, Turkey is the largest imprisoner of lawyers (ii), human rights defenders and journalists(iii). According to credible reports, more than 500,000 individuals have been subjected to criminal investigation(iv), 330,000 have been indicted, and 220,000 convicted(v), under Turkey’s anti-terror law, which has been found to be in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and the ICCPR by the ECtHR and the UN bodies.

We therefore call on the relevant bodies of the EU to scrutinize the situation in Turkey under the Global Human Rights Sanctions and sanction those responsible for the ongoing systematic human rights violations in Turkey.

  1. International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI)
  2. Osservatorio Avvocati Minacciati-L’unione Camere Penali Italiane
  3. Open Dialogue Foundation 
  4. International Association of People’s Lawyers
  5. The Arrested Lawyers Initiative
  6. Assyrian Universal Alliance
  7. Platform for Peace & Justice
  8. FIDU – Italian Federation for Human Rights / Italian Helsinki Committee 
  9. Fundación Internacional de Derechos Humanos 
  10. Human Rights Solidarity 

To download the statement click here.

joint-statement 15.12.2020

Categories: International Advocacy, Our Statements

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2 replies


  1. Turkey: Access to Justice for human rights violations remains illusory | IAPL Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers
  2. ODF amongst the organisations who call on the EU to sanction human rights abusers in Turkey – The Open Dialogue Foundation
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