KHRP submits reports for UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of Armenia and Turkey
KHRP today submitted two stakeholder reports concerning the situation of human rights in Armenia and Turkey to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group.
The UPR is a process which involves a review of the human rights records of all 192 UN Member States once every four years. It is one of the key elements of the Human Rights Council which ensures that States are reminded of their responsibility to fully respect and implement all human rights and fundamental freedoms guaranteed under international and domestic law.
Armenia and Turkey will be among 16 countries scheduled to be reviewed at the eighth session of the Working Group in May 2010.
Amongst other recommendations, KHRP and Forum urge the Government of Armenia to take heed of several recent judgments from the European Court of Human Rights. It also calls on Armenian government to initiate an open and serious dialogue between all political groups on reforming the political system to ensure greater respect for freedom from torture or inhuman or degrading treatment, freedom and pluralism of speech, freedom of assembly and association, fair trial rights, and improvements in the conditions of prisons and police stations.
Meanwhile in Turkey, KHRP calls for further reforms to bring its national legislation in line with its obligations under international law. Based on its work with a large number of national NGOs there over the past four years, KHRP’s recommendations include urgent public awareness and training of officials to help secure the protection of human rights for Turkish nationals. It also urges that robust measures be undertaken to ensure the effective implementation of existing provisions, particularly with regard to investigations into allegations of torture and ill-treatment. The report concludes that civil society organisations must be given a platform from which to aid and to help monitor the state’s implementation of reforms without risk of harassment.
‘The UPR is a vital tool of the international system in holding States to account over their human rights records’, says KHRP Chief Executive Kerim Yildiz. ‘It is crucial that fellow UN Member States review the muddied histories of human rights in Armenia and Turkey, particularly with regards to ethnic minorities, and that they call on these countries to take urgent steps to improve the plight of all peoples living there.’
KHRP’s submissions on Armenia and Turkey are available to download here.