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Former Turkish ambassador elected as member to UN Committee against Torture

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Former Turkish Ambassador Erdoğan İşcan was elected as a member of the UN Committee against Torture in a vote at the United Nations Office in Geneva on Thursday, Turkish media reports said.

İşcan, nominated by Turkey, secured the post after garnering the votes of 83 out of 151 countries in the first round at the 17th meeting of states to elect members to replace five current members whose terms expire on Dec. 31, 2019.

The four other members were elected from Mexico, Latvia, France and Moldova.

The Committee against Torture is composed of 10 independent members who are elected for four-year terms.

İşcan, who will begin his service on Jan. 1, 2020, will be the first Turkish official on the committee.

The former ambassador’s election to the UN Committee against Torture comes at a time when the Turkish government is being harshly criticized due to alleged acts of torture and maltreatment in Turkey’s prisons and detention centers, particularly after a failed coup attempt in July 2016.

In a January 2019 report Human Rights Watch said it found continued allegations of torture, ill treatment and cruel and inhuman or degrading treatment in police custody and prison in Turkey and the lack of any meaningful investigation into them to be a source of “deep concern.”

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