Turkey’s shameless exploitation of the findings of a global terrorism financing and cash laundering watchdog to hurry by means of a draconian new regulation concentrating on civil society organisations is a warning to the world that have to be challenged, stated Amnesty Worldwide in a brand new briefing printed at the moment. The publication comes forward of an annual overview assembly of the Monetary Motion Process Drive (FATF) between 21 – 25 June.
Weaponizing counter-terrorism: Turkey’s exploitation of terrorism financing evaluation to focus on civil society reveals how a brand new regulation adopted beneath the guise of combatting terrorism financing threatens to undermine the reliable work of civil society organisations. Regulation No. 7262 on the Prevention of the Financing of the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction introduces new measures that violate the rights to freedom of affiliation and expression, in addition to internationally acknowledged honest trial ensures.
“This outlandish regulation bulldozed by means of at breakneck pace on the pretext of combating terrorism is a thinly disguised try to ratchet up the stress on a sector already reeling from greater than 5 years of a relentless crackdown,” stated Amnesty Worldwide’s Europe Director, Nils Muižnieks.
This outlandish regulation bulldozed by means of at breakneck pace on the pretext of combating terrorism is a thinly disguised try to ratchet up the stress on a sector already reeling
“The brand new regulation joins Turkey’s arsenal of counter-terrorism legal guidelines, a lot of that are routinely used to focus on human rights defenders and civil society organisations, together with Amnesty Worldwide. It threatens to escalate the stress on civil society activists who already face prosecution and conviction on trumped up terrorism costs.”
Throughout its upcoming Plenary Assembly , the FATF will overview Turkey’s compliance with the duty pressure’s 2019 evaluation report which discovered Turkey solely in “partial compliance” with FATF’s advice on terrorism financing and potential dangers related to the not-for revenue sector.
FATF advisable that Turkey “implement a centered risk-based strategy and proportionate risk-mitigation measures to Non-Revenue Organizations (NPOs) recognized as liable to terrorism financing abuse”.
In response, Turkish authorities rushed the brand new regulation by means of parliament which got here into pressure on 31 December 2020, with none session with civil society.
The regulation goes far past what’s required by the FATF, and its overly broad and obscure provisions undermine the precept of legality in a means that threatens to additional erode the train of the rights to freedom of affiliation and expression, and a spread of different human rights.
The various ambiguities within the new regulation go away it open to misuse towards civil society organizations, together with these devoted to the defence and promotion of human rights. The FATF units out a danger evaluation for states to use to the non-profit sector to determine dangers related to terrorism financing and to implement mitigation measures the place required. The brand new regulation in Turkey, nonetheless, topics all NPOs to the identical disproportionate danger mitigation measures, together with organizations at no danger of vulnerability to involvement in terrorism financing. It imposes burdensome audits on all NPOs and consists of provisions that will hinder all on-line fundraising actions with out justification based mostly on precise danger.
Utilizing FATF necessities as a fig leaf to focus on critics and silence dissent units a harmful precedent
The regulation consists of provisions that allow the suspension of board members and workers, in addition to the dissolution of organizations, with out enough and efficient judicial safeguards. Though the brand new regulation describes the suspension measures as “non permanent”, terrorism prosecutions in Turkey typically final for a few years. The suspension of people from their civil society work for prolonged durations can itself be a punitive measure and could have a deep chilling impact on society at massive.
The regulation comes within the context of the continued onslaught by Turkish authorities towards unbiased civil society actors. The continued prosecution of imprisoned outstanding civil society determine, Osman Kavala, and the conviction of Amnesty Worldwide Turkey’s honorary chair, Taner Kılıç and three different human rights defenders within the Büyükada prosecution, are emblematic circumstances of Turkish authorities’ dedication to clamp down on civil society. The circumstances expose how counterterrorism measures in Turkey have been weaponized towards political opponents, journalists, human rights defenders, and civil society organizations.
Because the Process Drive meets, their actions might be keenly eyed by many governments world wide looking for to silence their very own critics
Concern of being labelled a “terrorist” or of their reliable work being characterised as a “safety menace” has had a chilling impact, shrinking the area at no cost expression and affiliation. Over state of emergency in place from 2016-2018, greater than 1,300 associations and foundations and over 180 media shops have been completely closed down by govt decrees for unspecified hyperlinks to “terrorist” organizations.
“Utilizing FATF necessities as a fig leaf to focus on critics and silence dissent units a harmful precedent that might be keenly eyed by many different governments world wide looking for to silence their very own critics,” stated Nils Muižnieks.
“The FATF assembly subsequent week should do greater than acknowledge these unintended penalties, and take concrete motion to reverse them. Failure to take action can be an abdication of accountability that might spell catastrophe for civil society in Turkey and past.”
The FATF is an intergovernmental group that’s mandated to fight cash laundering, terrorism financing, and countering the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
In February 2021, the FATF launched a brand new challenge to check and mitigate the unintended penalties ensuing from states’ incorrect implementation of FATF suggestions and requirements. Focus areas embody the suppression of non-profit organizations by means of the failure of states to implement the FATF’s risk-based strategy and threats to human rights stemming from the misuse of its requirements.
Based on the World NPO Coalition on FATF — which displays nations which have imposed undue restrictions on freedom of affiliation on the premise of terrorism financing considerations — Albania, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Venezuela have additionally used FATF requirements to focus on civil society.
For extra info or to rearrange an interview, please contact: Stefan Simanowitz, email@example.com