World Bulletin / News Desk
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the contemptible attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government in Turkey,” Commissioner Nils Muiznieks said in a statement on Wednesday.
“I rejoice in the fact that the Turkish people unambiguously foiled this attempt, and that all democratic political currents and leaders stood united against it,” Muiznieks said.
The Turkish government has repeatedly said the failed coup was staged by the supporters of U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen, who is accused of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state.
Muiznieks said the perpetrators “must face the full force of the law,” but also warned Turkish authorities that “there is no justice without human rights and the rule of law.”
“The staggering number of civil servants who have been arrested or dismissed in such a short period of time following the attempted coup also raise serious questions regarding equity and due process,” he said in the statement.
Muiznieks’ remarks came after the suspension of tens of thousands of public employees in the military, police, education sector and civil service, suspected of having links to the Gulen movement.
“I am also alarmed by images showing torture and ill treatment being inflicted on suspected perpetrators, as well as signs of torture on persons taken into custody, which were published in various media,” Muiznieks said.
“While I am unable to determine the veracity of such allegations, I must stress that there can be no exception to the prohibition of torture, and this will be the ultimate test of Turkey’s zero-tolerance policy,” he added.
Iscan, Turkey’s permanent representative to the Council of Europe, responded to Muiznieks’ remarks in a letter.
Iscan said the perpetrators, described as a group inside the military that staged a coup, would be punished in accordance with the international law by the Turkish legal system, which works coordinately with the United Nations, European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling cases.
Iscan expressed his sadness over Muiznieks’ statement, which he described as “formed with predictions and speculation”.