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The Turkish authorities must take action to ensure the right to freedom of peaceful assembly is effectively enjoyed by LGBTI persons as equal members of society

Written declaration No. 684 | Doc. 14935 | 28 June 2019

Ms Petra BAYR, Austria, SOC ; Ms Ann-Britt ÅSEBOL, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Ms Maria Elena BOSCHI, Italy, SOC ; Ms Rósa Björk BRYNJÓLFSDÓTTIR, Iceland, UEL ; Mr Maurizio BUCCARELLA, Italy, NR ; Ms Doris BURES, Austria, SOC ; Ms Jette CHRISTENSEN, Norway, SOC ; Ms Lise CHRISTOFFERSEN, Norway, SOC ; Mr Vernon COAKER, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Stella CREASY, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Pero DÜNDAR, Turkey, UEL ; Ms Edite ESTRELA, Portugal, SOC ; Ms Tarja FILATOV, Finland, SOC ; Ms Béatrice FRESKO-ROLFO, Monaco, ALDE ; Ms Eglantina GJERMENI, Albania, SOC ; Ms Marija GOLUBEVA, Latvia, ALDE ; Ms Miren GORROTXATEGUI, Spain, UEL ; Ms Zita GURMAI, Hungary, SOC ; Mr Andrej HUNKO, Germany, UEL ; Mr Momodou Malcolm JALLOW, Sweden, UEL ; Mr Tiny KOX, Netherlands, UEL ; Mr Pere LÓPEZ, Andorra, SOC ; Mr Killion MUNYAMA, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Joseph O'REILLY, Ireland, EPP/CD ; Mr Henk OVERBEEK, Netherlands, UEL ; Mr Thomas PRINGLE, Ireland, UEL ; Mr Jussi SARAMO, Finland, UEL ; Ms Petra STIENEN, Netherlands, ALDE ; Mr Damien THIÉRY, Belgium, ALDE ; Ms Violeta TOMIĆ, Slovenia, UEL ; Mr Manuel TORNARE, Switzerland, SOC

We, the undersigned, declare the following:

The bans of Pride events in Izmir and Antalya issued respectively by Izmir Governorate on 14 June 2019 and the day after by Antalya governorate signal Turkish authorities’ failure to fulfil their positive obligation to guarantee both public security and the freedom of assembly. In other cities, such events are also at imminent risk of being banned, including in Istanbul, where Pride is at risk for the fifth year in a row.

Izmir and Antalya Governorates banned Pride events, the most recent in a series of similar government actions in Turkey in recent years, advancing concerns about public safety, national security, public order, protection of general morality or rights and freedoms of others, as well as based on the need to prevent possible violence and terrorism. As the European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly stressed, although a demonstration may annoy or cause offence to persons opposed to the ideas or claims it seeks to promote, this cannot serve as an admissible ground for prohibiting a peaceful gathering.

We call upon the Turkish authorities to ensure that the right to freedom of peaceful assembly is effectively enjoyed by LGBTI persons as equal members of society.