04/29/2020 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Amnesty International’s annual human rights report notes that Turkey’s judiciary remains a tool of pressure despite so-called reforms which passed through parliament. The judiciary’s targeting of real or perceived dissent was cited as a significant problem, as well as pretrial detention used punitively to silence dissent and journalist work cited as criminal evidence. The report also noted the dozens of human rights activists who were imprisoned because of their work.
These problems underscore each of the difficulties faced in advancing religious freedom in Turkey. The genocide a century ago towards Christians has never been addressed. While Turkey is no longer murdering Christians en masse, the policies which led and contributed to the genocide remain. It has effectively blocked Christians from having a legal identity and exercising their rights as Turkish citizens. Since the judiciary is used as a tool of pressure against dissent and Turkey’s current government finds its political identity in Islamic nationalism, the environment strikes fear into many Christians about speaking into religious freedom violations.
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