A Collective Complaint against Turkey in the United Nations for broadcasting Satellite Channels which incite killing and practicing violence against civilians

6 mins read

4th March 2021

A Collective Complaint against Turkey in the United Nations for broadcasting Satellite Channels which incite killing and practicing violence against civilians

A number of human rights organizations have called Michelle Bachelet, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, to take the necessary measures according to her mandate to stop the crime of inciting violence and killing against civilians which is broadcasted by a number of satellite TV channels affiliated to Turkey. These channels incite against civilians and citizens of Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Emirates.

The Association of the Egyptian Female Lawyers (holds the special consultative status with UN ECOSOC), the Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue and the Arab Network for Digital Media and Human Rights submitted a collective complaint to the High Commissioner for Human Rights during the 46th Session of HRC held in the period from 22nd February to 15th March in Geneva. The organizations called the High Commissioner for Human Rights to stop inciting violence and hatred by broadcasted channels affiliated to Muslim Brotherhood group which is classified as terroristic in a number of countries, the channels which are broadcasted from Turkey. In addition, the organizations express their deep worry and concern about ignoring what has been done by such channels of supporting terroristic operations and justifying Turkish crimes against Kurds in South Syria; the matter which contradicts with rules of the International Law which criminalize incitement calls to hatred and violence in addition to rules of Satellite Broadcasting Agreements. They also called the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur on the Freedom of Expression and the Special Rapporteur on Terrorism to review and consider the daily violations committed by these channels which are broadcasted by Turkey in contradiction with article 5 in the Declaration of Principles of Tolerance that was approved and accredited by the UNESCO General Conference on Tolerance and Anti-Violence in its 28th Session in Paris on 16th November 1995 which states “We commit ourselves to promoting tolerance and non-violence through programmes and institutions in the fields of education, science, culture and communication”. 

The submitted complaint was attached with number of video clips in which the broadcasters of these channels and their guests incite killing the Egyptian president Abd Al Fattah Al Sisi, expiating rulers of Saudi Arabia and Emirates, inciting against the Libyan National Army and Algerian Army and offending Christian clergies which all contradicts with the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination issued on 20th November 1963 (the decision of the General Assembly no. 1904/18-D). This declaration officially assures the necessity of rapid elimination of all forms of racial discrimination all over the world in addition to the necessity of insuring the understanding of human dignity and respecting it.

In their submitted complaint to the High Commissioner, these organizations said that Turkey is practicing a systematic hostile action against Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Emirates, Libya, Algeria and Morocco by allowing these channels to broadcast videos which represent a clear violation against moral rules according to which media means work. in addition, all of this is a clear and frank threat to human rights system which protects human rights against harmful uses of freedom of expression which mentioned by UNHRC as “Permissible Limits” in regard to freedom of expression which state that Member States in the UN should protect people against inaccurate and offensive declarations and statements and protect privacy within certain circumstances. Also these limits allow state to protect its security and prevent ‘hatred’ press especially that which encourages religious or ethnic racism or hatred and to prevent war calls and propaganda. The organizations drew attention that broadcasting these channels from Turkey which is subjected to European Agreements is a violation against laws of European Union regarding TV and radio broadcasting which criminalize such practices.

They also warned against continuing such media status which violates human rights and exploited by suppressive regimes such as Turkish regime warning and alarming for the future. These channels feed the thoughts and ideas of terrorism and extremism and contribute to continue settling these thoughts in Arab societies and challenge human rights system.

Moreover, in its complaint, the organizations assured the necessity of condemning Turkey for violating UNESCO Guide to Control Media Broadcasting which warns against using media in inciting hatred. Also the attempts of these channels to motivate youth to fight state institutions are criminalized according to the texts of the International Law since article 20 in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights prohibits any propaganda for war, any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence. In addition, the decision of Security Council no. 1624 states that UN and all Member States should take all necessary and appropriate measures, according to the International Law, and on national and international levels to protect the right to life and criminalize incitement to violence and calls for practicing terrorism.   

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