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Information meeting on the UPR Process in Turkey

27 January 2020

WHEN: 27th January 2020, 1pm – 2:30pm

WHERE: United Nations, Palais des Nations, Room XXV, Geneva

WHAT: The International Observatory of Human Rights and the Press Emblem Campaign are holding a panel discussion on 27 January 2020 to coincide with the UN’s Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review of Turkey. The panel will highlight the unprecedented threat to human rights in Turkey most particularly with regards to threats against Freedom of Expression and the persecution of journalists and human rights defenders under the current government.

Coming together in a rare congregation; diplomats, ministers, prominent members of the Turkish media and human rights defenders – both those currently active in Turkey and those forced into exile – will share their knowledge of the system, their personal experiences and examine the future of freedom of expression in Turkey post UPR.

Ambassador Stephen Rapp, former United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice, will deliver the keynote, referencing his recent report of the trial monitoring of “People vs. Journalist Cansu Pişkin.”

Members of the European Parliament and civil society will also share their views on what the role of the international institutions such as the European Court of Justice, the United Nations, and the Council of Europe should be in protecting Freedom of Expression. Discussions will also examine the use of these institutions in protecting the citizens of Turkey and in driving legislative reforms that uphold human rights.

In the previous UPR cycle of Turkey the Turkish government officially supported 14 recommendations related to strengthening the legal framework on freedom of expression and 5 recommendations specifically related to bringing terrorism legislation in line with international human rights standards.

Despite making some judicial reviews in October 2019, Turkey has overall been inconsistent in upholding previous review pledges. Subsequently, in the period under review, the government increasingly deployed changes in the legal system and terror legislation to restrict free expression. As a result, Turkey has now declined in terms of freedom of expression in comparison to where it was in 2010, when the first UPR cycle was compiled.

List of Esteemed Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Ambassador Stephen Rapp
Former United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice

Press Freedom Panel

Moderator: Irina von Wiese, MEP, Liberal Democrats (Renew Europe Group)
Yavuz Baydar – Editor-in-Chief of Ahval
Evin Baris Altintas – Journalist and blogger
Massimo Friggo – Senior legal Advisor for International Commission for Jurists

Human Rights Defenders Panel

Moderator: Louise Pyne Jones – Head of Research, IOHR
Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı – President of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey
Nurcan Baysal – Award-winning Kurdish Human Rights Defender and Journalist
Anne Van Wezel – Former Co-Chair, EESC EU-Turkey Joint Consultative Committee

In order to register your attendance, please visit the following link:

Media Contact

For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact:

Mr Ash Naji
Head of Communications
International Observatory of Human Rights.
Tel: +44 (0) 7826 062 541
Email: [email protected]

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