'Freedom of speech restricted in Turkey'

Amnesty International has issued a report saying that freedom of expression is still restricted in Turkey.

Amnesty International says freedom of expression is still restricted in Turkey and hundreds of journalists remain jailed for criticizing the government.

In a report entitled “Annual Report 2013, the State of the World’s Human Rights” that was released on Thursday, the London-based human rights group said that despite limited legislative reforms in Turkey, the measures do not amend the definitions of offenses used to limit freedom of expression, including, notably, those contained in anti-terrorism legislation.

Å“Little progress was made in addressing the restrictions on freedom of expression in the media and more widely in civil society. Criminal prosecutions frequently targeted non-violent dissenting opinions, particularly on controversial political issues and criticism of public officials and institutions. Dissenting opinions related to issues of Kurdish rights and politics were foremost of those subjected to criminal prosecution,” the report said.

Amnesty International also criticized Turkey for allowing the police to use excessive force to break up peaceful demonstrations and to conduct investigations and prosecutions, human rights abuses by state officials, and the pattern of Å“unfair trials” under anti-terrorism legislation.

The report also criticized the deadlocked constitutional exercise in Turkey.

Å“Discussions regarding the adoption of a new constitution continued throughout the year but with little evidence of consensus among the political parties or effective engagement with civil society,” it noted.

Commenting on the situation of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Amnesty International stated that the Turkish government has not approved legislation protecting the rights of refugees and asylum seekers in its territory.

MP/HGL

This article originally appeared on: Press TV