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Snippet Contents:

Last week, I asked the Minister of State and the Taoiseach about the human rights situation in Turkey. Both indicated that they would look at the matter, specifically the first hearing in the case of ten human rights defenders from Amnesty International, the Helsinki Citizens' Assembly and other entirely peaceful NGOs and civil society actors. These people have been arrested and charged on absurd grounds by the Turkish Government. The hearing is taking place today and there were hopes that there would be observers from the Irish consulate. The request was made by some of the human rights organisations and I passed it on in the House last week. Has the Government acceded to that request and what is it doing to ensure that human rights organisations are not the victims of the Erdogan Government's horrendous purge of all opposition, dissent and criticism from anybody it does not like?
Beyond that particular case, what are the Government and the European Council saying about what is going on in Turkey, which is beyond belief? There are 50,000 people in prison and 150,000 under investigation, including teachers, journalists, civil servants, trade unionists and MPs. People have been interned without trial. It is the kind of thing one would expect to see in a horror movie. The Turkish Government seems to be able to act with impunity and one has to ask whether the EU-Turkey deal, which allowed the European government to outsource the issue of Syrian migrants fleeing the disaster in their country, is causing us to be quiet about what Turkey is doing internally by trampling on human rights.
Have the Minister of State or the Taoiseach had discussions with our European counterparts on the damning ruling of the European Committee of Social Rights on the inadequate standard of local authority housing for thousands and thousands of local authority tenants who are living in chronic conditions in damp and substandard accommodation and what are we going to do about it?