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Turkish gov’t extends immunity to civilians for coup and terror crimes

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The Turkish government on Sunday by way of a new state of emergency decree granted immunity to civilians who take action to prevent coup plots and terror attacks from being realized, T24 reported.

According to decree No. 696, which adds a new paragraph to Article 37 of decree No. 667 dated Nov. 8, 2016, regardless of an official title or duties or the lack thereof, people who played a role in the suppression of a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and subsequent terrorist activities and events will be exempt from criminal liability.

Article 37 of decree No. 667 stated that “officials who make decisions and perform their duties in the context of this decree bear no legal, administrative, financial or criminal responsibility for those duties performed.”

Reactions grow

Reactions to the new decree that gives immunity to civilian violence in the context of the coup attempt and terrorist attacks have begun to be voiced.

Kerem Altıparmak, a human rights lawyer from Ankara University, underlined in a tweet that with the new decree the worst human rights violations and all kinds of crimes have been legitimized under the cover of fighting terrorism. Recalling that the Turkish Constitutional Court has approved the government’s state of emergency decrees, Altıparmak called on victims and their relatives to go directly to European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

Human rights advocate Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu summarized the new decree in a tweet: “If you make an innocent protest and someone kills you, he may not be punished. What else could be done to show that the state of law has ended?”

Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu tweeted that the new decree is a kind of message and guarantee to Gladio-JITEM-Hizbullah-like illegal armed structures for the future: “You commit a crime, and we’ll enact a law to save you.”

“Erdogan regime has welcomed private participation in witch hunts against Erdogan enemies. Now pro-state vigilantism is formally legal,” tweeted Timur Kuran, a professor of economic and political development at Duke University.

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