ANKARA, Turkey – Europe's top human rights body is calling on Turkey's capital city to reverse its decision to ban all events by lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights groups.
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks expressed concern Monday that the ban announced by Ankara governor's office was a "manifestation of a continuing backsliding in the field of human rights protection" in Turkey. He suggested the move may reflect Turkish authorities' "growing intolerance toward LGBTI" individuals.
The governor's office imposed the ban Sunday citing public security concerns. It said the events may cause animosity between different groups and endanger "health and morality" as well as others' rights and freedoms.
Muiznieks said it was the authorities' duty to protect LGBTI individuals from extremists, "not to restrict their rights."