(As delivered March 15, 2017)
This statement is delivered by FIDH together with its member league HRIC. China continues to subject human rights defenders and lawyers to smear campaigns, disappearances, prolonged pretrial detentions, torture, and forced confessions. It also seeks to restrict foreign support for independent civil society under the new Overseas NGO Law. In the name of national security, China is further tightening restrictions on expression online and offline. And it continues to deepen cultural, religious, and political oppression of its ethnic minorities, especially Tibetans and Uyghurs.
The Council must stand firm in support of international human rights standards and reject China’s efforts to legitimize its version: "socialist human rights with Chinese characteristics."
In Turkey, the situation has been swiftly deteriorating since last summer’s attempted coup. Although responding to the coup and serious terrorist threat is a legitimate aim, the State of Emergency legislation has been abused to curb the opposition and silence critical voices.
More than 100,000 people have been dismissed without due process, democratically elected representatives have been removed, independent media and associations have been shut down, and their employees, lawyers, activists, and other human rights defenders have been harassed.
The forthcoming constitutional referendum risks further undermining rule of law. As documented in the OHCHR report, the situation in the South East remains dire, with massive destructions, killings, and other serious violations. The Council must urge Turkey to halt this destruction and support the High Commissioner’s request to visit the South East.