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U.S. Statement at the UPR of Turkey
January 27, 2015

21st Session of the Universal Periodic Review

Statement delivered by Ambassador Keith Harper,
U.S. Representative to the Human Rights Council

January 27, 2015

– as delivered –

The United States warmly welcomes the Turkish delegation.

We recommend Turkey:

1.    Strengthen protection of the freedom of expression by allowing discourse and greater access to information, both online and offline, and ensure the penal code and anti-terror laws are consistent with international obligations;

2.    Foster an independent judiciary and consult with civil society, OSCE/ODIHR, and the Venice Commission on any judicial reform;

3.    Better identify and assist trafficking victims and implement systematic training for government officials on human trafficking crimes, gender-based violence, and gender equality.

We are concerned about growing restrictions on freedom of expression, including censorship of news media and the Internet, and provisions of Turkish law that unduly limit peaceful assembly.

We are concerned that government interference in the judiciary and law enforcement sectors – such as recent efforts to restructure the courts – undermines the rule of law.

We are concerned that effective structures are not in place to protect human trafficking victims and prosecute traffickers.

(end statement)