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No: 311, 9 October 2017, Press Release Regarding Awarding of the 2017 Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize to Murat Arslan, Former President of YARSAV

It is wrong and unacceptable to award the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize to a person who is a member of FETO terrorist organization, the perpetrator of the coup attempt of July 15. Making such a mistake under the roof of an organization that is the defender of the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, has seriously damaged the credibility of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

While the judicial process is underway, presenting a terrorism suspect as a human rights defender is a betrayal of the ideals of democracy and human rights. Such an approach serves no purpose but aiding the circles that support terrorism. We deeply regret that PACE has become an instrument to these political initiatives.