Syria incursion masks Turkish crackdown – rights activist

Turkey’s military incursion into Afrin in Syria means a latest crackdown on dissent in the EU candidate country is going under-reported, according to Kate Allen, the director of Amnesty International U.K.

More than 150 people have been arrested over the past week in Turkey for “making propaganda for a terrorist organisation” after they criticised the operation on social media, Allen said in a column for the Guardian newspaper on Tuesday.

“This is the new normal in Turkey,” she said. “Almost any criticism of government officials or policy is quickly re-characterised as a “threat to national security”, “terrorist propaganda”, an “insult” or similar.

“The authorities are trying to make examples out of my colleagues to frighten, dishearten and disempower anyone else inclined to pursue human rights activism.”