Ass. Prof. Gűnal Kurşun, a well-known scholar in the field of International Criminal Law and Genocide studies teaching working at the Criminal Law Department of the Çukurova University in Adana and President of the Insan Hakları Gűndemi Derneği-Human Rights Agenda Association (IHGD-HRAA), member of the IHOP-Human Rights Joint Platform, has been dismissed from his functions due to the New Statutory Decree n. 675, issued on October 29th.
Since many years, Gűnal Kurşun is fighting for the respect of human rights and civil liberties, denouncing all forms of violence in an independent and impartial manner. A key figure in the human rights movement in Turkey, whose works and academic contributions range from women rights to Freedom of Expression, from minority rights to social, economic and cultural ones till his engagement within the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, his passion brought him to choose to share his expertise in the field of human rights with new generations, in an attempt to provide his students with the relevant tools needed for the advancement of democracy in the country.
The dismissal of Gűnal Kurşun from his academic duties following the after-coup investigations is not only targeting an independent and open-minded academician but a well-respected human rights defender as well. The action enacted following the issue of the Decree no. 675 is also breaching the provision set for by article 12.2 of the UN Resolution on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders.
« The State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration. »