Photo Nicholas Kwok
Political scientists from Europe and North Africa, meeting in Strasbourg this week, have called on Turkey to halt secret investigations into a number of academics and human rights campaigners who were detained last week and then conditionally released on the basis of undisclosed allegations dating back to 2013.
The Association of Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe (ASPS), which groups 21 Schools in Eastern and Southern Europe and North Africa, condemned the witch-hunt against civil society representatives, including their colleague Hakan Altinay, who heads the Turkish School.
Nils Muiznieks, former Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, who was elected President of the ASPS this week in Strasbourg, said “these arbitrary arrests, which represent a blatant attempt to silence civil society are totally unacceptable in a democratic society.”
“I call on the authorities in Turkey to respect fully the human rights and
rule of law obligations to which Turkey is legally committed as a member of the Council of Europe” he added.
The ASPS condemns vile acid attacks and urges protection for activists
The Association of Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe (ASPS) today condemned the horrendous acid attack which led to the death of the Ukrainian local government politician and Human Rights activist Kateryna Handziuk earlier this month.
The ASPS which was meeting in Strasbourg for its annual General Assembly called for a thorough investigation of this cowardly crime and said those responsible should be brought to justice and punished.
33 year old Kateryna Handziuk, died from complications caused by the severe injuries inflicted on her by the sulphuric acid attack last July. Her case is one of many in Ukraine and elsewhere which are often not subject to a proper police investigation.
Kateryna was an alumni of the Ukrainian School of Political Studies with which she remained closely involved. At the time of the attack she was an advisor to the Mayor of Kherson and had already denounced serious cases of corruption in her region.
The ASPS called on the Authorities in Ukraine and in other Council of Europe countries to afford proper protection to human rights activists and whistleblowers and engage in a constructive dialogue with civil society.