Click here to complete our Survey about Human Rights after Brexit

IOHR EVENT: International Conference on the Unprecedented Threat
to Human Rights in Turkey

International Conference on the Unprecedented Threat to Human Rights in Turkey

2nd November 2018

What: International Conference on the Unprecedented Threat to Human Rights in Turkey
When: 2nd November – 10.30am on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists
Where: Geneva Press Club

Register now

The International Observatory of Human Rights is organising this international conference on 2nd November in Geneva to highlight the unprecedented threat to human rights in Turkey.

In a rare congregation; families of Turkish prisoners currently languishing behind bars, prominent Turkish journalists and lawyers living in exile and active members of civil society will come together to speak on the ongoing witch-hunt and unjustified jailing of Turkish citizens.

Outspoken members of the British, Swiss, and Dutch parliaments who have been working on the Turkish crisis will talk about the lack of due process and the travesty of justice those prisoners and their families face on a daily basis.

The conference will address what is the role of the European Court of Justice, the United Nations, and the Council of Europe in protecting citizens and pushing for legislative reforms and a basic respect for human rights.

Turkey is now ranked as the worst jailer of journalists worldwide.

Overall it has the second highest proportion of prisoners out of the 47 participating member states of the Council of Europe, with 244.6 per 100,000 inhabitants imprisoned.

Data released in an annual Council of Europe report has revealed an explosion in the prison population of Turkey; a record increase of 161.7% in just 10 years.

A former US prisoner in Turkey, will speak on the fate of US prisoners unjustly jailed in Turkey and how the current regime uses them as bargaining chips for political gains.

Conference Programme

2 November 2018

10:00 Coffee and registration
10:30 Welcome Message from Valerie Peay
Director of International Observatory of Human Rights.
10:40 Opening Video Statement by Luca Jahier
President of the European Economic & Social Committee.
10:45 KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-President, EP Delegation for relations with Turkey.
Panel 1: SILENCING THE PRESS
Panel moderated by Trish Lynch Chief Correspondent, IOHRTV.
11:00 Abdullah Bozkurt is a prominent Turkish journalist living in exile and author of the book “Turkey Interrupted: Derailing Democracy” -President of Stockholm Centre for Freedom.

Annie van Wezel, Former Co-Chair, EESC EU-Turkey Joint Consultative Committee.

11:40 FEATURE INTERVIEW
Lindsey Snell: Award Winning Journalist

Bogus charges against US citizens in Turkey: Erdogan using them as bargaining chips in return for political gains.

IOHR presenter Trish Lynch interviews American award-winning journalist Lindsey Snell who had been living in Istanbul when she travelled to Syria in 2016 and was kidnapped by Al Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s former affiliate in Syria. She was held in a cave prison by militants even though she was given permission to film in their territory in Syria. Upon escaping she was able to return to Turkey and was detained at a prison in the Southern Hatay province.

12:00 Coffee break
Panel 2: PROSECUTING THE LAW
Panel moderated by Trish Lynch Chief Correspondent, IOHRTV.
12:20 Natacha Bracq, Programme Lawyer, International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute. Paris, France.

Professor Dr Hüseyin Demir, Professor of Human rights and Constitutional law. Berlin, Germany.

Dr Salih önder, Lawyer and Author. Bern, Switzerland.
Panel moderated by Trish Lynch Chief Correspondent, IOHRTV.

13:00 Lunch
14:00 Video interview with the children of Professor Hasan Hüseyin Günakan unjustly jailed in Turkey
Urgent Case of Mistaken Identity
Mustafa and Sevda Günakan are the son and daughter of Hasan Hüseyin Günakan, a Turkish chemistry teacher who taught in Kosovo where the Günakan family had been residing for some thirteen years. On 29 March 2018 Mr. Günakan was handcuffed and abducted by Kosovan police from the school where he taught and deported back to Turkey. Very shortly, the arresting Turkish officers soon realised that they had arrested the wrong person and after informing their headquarters where told “There is no problem, even if it is a mistake, just get the guy. The only thing we want is a person from that school. The identity doesn’t matter.” Günakan remains in solitary confinement in prison for a crime he did not commit.
14:10 Brief on Günakan case by Yasemin Aydin, Main Representative of
the Journalists and Writers Foundation in Europe.
14:15 Brief on case of Jailed Turkish painter Zehra Dogan by Julie Ward, MEP, Member of the European Parliament for the North West of England, Member of the Culture and Education Committee.
Panel 3: ERADICATING CIVIL SOCIETY
Panel moderated by Trish Lynch Chief Correspondent, IOHRTV
14:25 Julie Ward MEP, Member of the European Parliament for the North West of England, Member of the Culture and Education Committee.

Laurence Fehlmann Rielle MP, Vice-chair of the Legal Affairs Committee of the Swiss Parliament.

Louise Pyne-Jones, Head of Research, International Observatory of Human Rights.

15:20 Closing statements/recommendations by Valerie Peay, Director International Observatory of Human Rights.

Register now

Sign up to our Newsletter

Enter your name and email address below to receive regular updates from us

Sign up to our Newsletter

Enter your name and email address below to receive regular updates from us