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Mr Akin Birdal

Volume 590: debated on Monday 1 June 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they have expressed concern to the Turkish authorities about the attempted assassination of Mr. Akin Birdal, President of the Turkish Human Rights Association; and whether they will ask the Turkish authorities what steps have been taken to apprehend and bring to trial the persons responsible for the murders of ten other officials of the association since 1991. [HL1944]

As EU Presidency, the UK issued a declaration on behalf of the European Union on 13 May expressing shock and dismay at the shooting of Mr. Akin Birdal, condemning this cowardly attack on the Chairman of the Human Rights Association, and strongly supporting statements by the Turkish authorities that every effort would be made to bring to justice those responsible.The Foreign Secretary made clear the importance we attach to the proper protection of human rights during his visit to Ankara on 19 May. He took the opportunity to visit Mr. Birdal in hospital to emphasise our support for the work of the Human Rights Association. We urge the Turkish authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the attacks on Mr. Birdal and other members of the Human Rights Association.