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    Human Rights report criticizes Turkey over not doing enough for 1000's of displaced

    Hurriyet
    09.03.2005 - 10:58 | Son Güncelleme:

    A report issued by Human Rights Watch Monday said that the Turkish government has failed to honor pledges to help 378,000 displaced people, mainly Kurds, return home to their villages in southeastern Turkey. And calls for EU officials visiting Ankara to press Turkey in reinvigorating rights reforms.

    The 37-page report, "Still Critical: Prospects in 2005 for Internally Displaced Kurds in Turkey", details how the Turkish government has failed to implement measures for IDPs that the United Nations recommended almost three years ago.

    Critics say that since the EU issued a date for Turkey to begin accession talks with regards to it's EU membership candidacy, the government has ignored the plight of the IDPs.

    The report also criticizes Turkey over figures that were sent to the European Commission that stated "a third of the displaced had returned home". Human Rights Watch believe the figure to be much less than stated by the Turkish government, claiming that in fact only around one third of IDPs have been able to return home.

    The report also states that the Turkish government did not provide electricity, telephone lines and schools to returning communities.

    Europe's Human Rights Watch's Acting Executive Director, Rachel Denber said," When we checked Turkey’s figures on helping the displaced return home, the numbers proved unreliable." She added, "What’s worse, the government’s paramilitary village guards are attacking and killing returnees in some parts of southeastern Turkey."

    Human Rights watch are calling for the Turkish government to immediately to set up an agency for IDPs.

    Turkey was also criticized for not doing enough to prevent torture, although the report also said that, "Turkey has made substantial improvement in recent years, but in order to combat persistent incidents of torture and ill-treatment, the European Union recommended in October 2004 that the Turkish government set up an independent monitoring of detention facilities."

    The report claims that Turkey has still not implemented independent monitoring.

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