Turkey: Coronavirus

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 10th June 2020.

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Photo of Fabian Hamilton Fabian Hamilton Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the situation for human rights defenders and journalists held in pre-trial detention in Turkey, in relation to the risk that overcrowding and unsanitary conditions in Turkish prisons pose to transmission of covid-19.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

We regularly raise our concerns with Turkey about conditions in Turkish prisons and the risks posed by COVID-19 in Turkey. We continue to urge the authorities to ensure that all detainees are treated in accordance with relevant international human rights standards. Ministers and our Ambassador to Turkey continue to engage the Turkish Government on Covid risks and future work to tackle the disease.

We support the call made by the UN Secretary-General in his message of 22 April that human rights must be at the front and centre of the COVID-19 response and recovery. We continue to be clear in our expectation that Turkey, like all countries, should live up to its human rights obligations towards all its citizens. We support all efforts by the UN to minimise long-term damage to global economies, societies, politics and freedoms.

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