Human Rights

"Turkey must respond in accordance with OSCE commitments"

Friday, December 15, 2017

Canada, Iceland, Lihteshtein, Norway and Switzerland: The Ankara ban and its specific discrimination against members of the LGBTI community constitutes a violation of the right to equality under the law.

During OSCE Permanent Council No.1167, Delegation of Canada Ambassador Natasha Cayer made a joint statement about the indefinite ban on LGBTI events in Ankara on behalf of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, and Canada. The statement urges Turkey to respond in accordance with OSCE commitments. 

"The Ankara ban and its specific discrimination against members of the LGBTI community constitutes a violation of the right to equality under the law"

The full text is as follows:

Mr. Chairperson,

I am delivering this statement on behalf of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, and Canada. 

We have noted with dismay the recent indefinite ban enacted on LGBTI-related activities in Ankara Governorate, Turkey, as well as other attempts to prevent LGBTI activities across the country. The rationale behind these prohibitions remains unclear. We are concerned that the extensive nature of the Ankara ban and its specific discrimination against members of the LGBTI community constitutes a violation of human rights, including freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and the right to equality under the law. 

Our countries believe that human rights are universal, indivisible, and must apply equally to everyone. As members of the OSCE, each of our countries has a responsibility to support the rights and freedoms of all its citizens. As we have reaffirmed on many occasions, we believe that freedom and diversity make our societies stronger, and that a healthy and vibrant society is one which includes all voices. It is for these reasons that we strive to end systemic discrimination against LGBTI communities within our own countries. 

We urge the Turkish government to examine the decisions recently taken to prohibit these activities and to respond in accordance with their international obligations and OSCE commitments.

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