Turkish parliament passes law that critics say will stifle NGOs

WION Web Team
Ankara, Turkey Published: Dec 27, 2020, 05:25 PM(IST)

Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The law is being criticied for the possibility that it will be used against opponent organisations. Earlier this week,  seven civil society organisations, including Human Rights Association and Amnesty said that terrorism charges in Turkey were arbitrary

Turkish parliament on Sunday approved a law that will allow Turkish interior ministers to replace members of organisations being investigated for terrorism charges. The law also empowers the ministry to seek halt to the group's activities via court appeal. The bill has been drafted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party which holds parliamentary majority with allies.

The law is being criticied for the possibility that it will be used against opponent organisations. Earlier this week,  seven civil society organisations, including Human Rights Association and Amnesty said that terrorism charges in Turkey were arbitrary, adding the law violates the presumption of innocence and punishes those whose trials are not finalised.

Investigations based on terrorism charges have been launched against hundreds of thousands of people under a crackdown following a failed coup in 2016. Members of Amnesty and other civil society groups have been investigated and tried, while hundreds of foundations were also shut down with decrees.

Critics say Erdogan’s government has used the coup attempt as a pretext to quash dissent. The government says the measures are necessary given the security threats facing Turkey.

(With Reuters inputs)

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