Mr Navendu Mishra: Systematic breach of human rights will not be ignored under the pretext of state sovereignty

“I admire the work you’re doing with regards to human rights in Turkey. My personal view is that human rights are universal. We should always stand up for human rights and as a proud Labor representative in the Parliament, I am really glad to be able to able to join you guys. Now most of you, I mean all of you will know of the reports that have come in from Turkey over the years. But there are credible reports from international organizations including the United Nations and the Council of Europe, international and national NGOs, bar associations that have mentioned the role of torture ill treatment and the practice of impunity You just have to look at the UK Home Office’s country information note which states that in Turkey there’s a real risk of mistreatment simply on the basis that a person is a member of opposition group or a relative or a friend of a member of an opposition group and those accused of torture may act with impunity. Prisoners have reported being held in stress positions over prolonged periods which is also being subjected to sleep deprivations beating, sometimes sexual abuse and threats of rape. Political prisoners are also regularly denied access to a doctor’s medical examinations in a deliberate effort to stop the verification of torture allegations. Now to me that is simply unacceptable and I think anyone who’s reasonable would agree that in a free and just society, we need people who disagree we need opposition groups we need NGOs, we need trade unions we need freedom of speech in order to improve our society, improve our country. And deliberate use of such tactics by states is completely unacceptable. Now under the European Convention on Human Rights which Turkey and the UK are party to, all states that have signed are under obligation of collective enforcement of the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Convention. That means that systematic breach of human rights will not be ignored under the pretext of state sovereignty and it is very important that when allegations like this do come forward they’re investigated properly and people aren’t targeted based on their background their heritage their political affiliation, their political views and things like that. Now in my view the targeted sanction regime is very clever and it’s a very useful tool because you’re not targeting an entire state or a country but actually you are targeting specific people who are involved in these allegations now my record is quite clear when it comes to places like Xinjiang and what the government of China has been accused of doing there and as I said earlier on human rights are universal these values are universal and the rule of law must be respected. Now turkey has signed up to the ECHR and we expect it to enforce it. It may be of interest for people for me to remind people that on the 1st of August 2018, the US treasury department sanctioned Turkish ministers of justice and interior for their role on leading the organizations responsible for implementing the serious human rights abuses. In Turkey now the global human rights sanctions regulation 2020 are to deter and provide accountability for activities. So, I do hope that the British government will take action. I am a humble opposition MP but as I said it’s very important to me that the UK uses its diplomatic power in order to stand up for people that that are being oppressed or people who are being targeted by foreign states whether that is inside the UK or outside. … I will finish with sort of quotation from Elie Wiesel ‘we must take sides neutrality helps the oppressor never the victim silence encourages the tormentor never the tormented.”

Categories: Panel / Conference


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