UN Human Rights Council 36th Regular Session Report on HRDs

The Human Rights Council, in resolution 12/2, expressed concern over continued reports of intimidation and reprisals against individuals and groups seeking to cooperate or having cooperated with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights, and deep concern at the seriousness of such reported acts. The Council further condemned all acts of intimidation and reprisal committed by Governments and non-State actors and invited me to submit a report to the Council at its fourteenth session and annually thereafter, containing a compilation and analysis of any available information, from all appropriate sources, on alleged reprisals as well as recommendations on how to address this issue. This is the eighth report based on this resolution.[1]

Summary of Cases with Regard to Turkey:

On 23 January 2017, special procedures mandate holders raised concerns with the Government over allegations of reprisals against Mr. Osman Isci, an academic researcher and human rights defender, who was suspended from his research position at Agri Ibrahim Cecen University through the use of emergency decrees, for his cooperation with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of the right to freedom of opinion and expression during the latter’s official country visit to Turkey in November 2016 (see A/HRC/35/44, TUR 1/2017). In January 2016, Osman Isci, together with more than 180 other academic and university researchers, signed the “Peace Petition,” published by Academics for Peace. Many of these academics have since been dismissed, suspended or forced to resign, and all of them continue to be subjected to administrative and judicial investigations (see TUR 3/2016).

Comprehensive Information on Alleged Cases of Reprisals and Intimidation for Cooperation with the United Nations on Human Rights

Turkey: 

On 23 January 2017, special procedures mandate holders raised concerns with the Government over allegations of reprisals against Mr. Osman Isci, an academic researcher and human rights defender, who was suspended from his research position at Agri Ibrahim Cecen University through the use of emergency decrees, for his cooperation with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of the right to freedom of opinion and expression during his official country visit to Turkey in November 2016 (see A/HRC/35/44, TUR 1/2017).  In January 2016, Osman Isci, together with more than 180 other academic and university researchers signed the “Peace Petition”, published by Academics for Peace. Many of these academics have since been dismissed, suspended or forced to resign, and all of them continue to be subjected to administrative and judicial investigations (see TUR 3/2016).

On 15 December 2016, approximately one month after he participated in a meeting with the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Isci received a document notifying him that, according to Emergency Decree nos. 667, 668 and 675, and Articles 137 and 138 of the Law on Public Officers, he had been placed under administrative investigation and suspended until its completion. In its reply of 11 April 2017, the Government responded that a disciplinary investigation was initiated against Mr. Isci on suspicion that he might be linked to the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), a suspected terrorist organization. The Government further submitted that, under Decree Law 667, public officials who are deemed to be members or have links to terrorist organizations be dismissed from public service. The Government stated that the investigation against Mr. Isci is ongoing, and it has no relevance to his meeting with the Special Rapporteur, nor to his assumed work as a human rights defender.

You can access the full report here


[1]      See A/HRC/14/19, A/HRC/18/19, A/HRC/21/18, A/HRC/24/29, A/HRC/27/38, A/HRC/30/29 and A/HRC/33/19.

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