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Turkey's Rights Record Mixed, U.S. Says

(RFE/RL) PRAGUE, March 8, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. State Department today noted the persistence of serious human rights problems in EU-hopeful Turkey, despite steps taken by its government to improve conditions.

Among problems the State Department mentions in its annual report on human rights worldwide are poor prison conditions, arbitrary detentions, impunity and corruption, lengthy pretrial detentions, and restrictions imposed on religious and press freedom.

The State Department says violence and discrimination against women, as well as child labor, also remain concerns.

The report notes persisting restrictions on the use of Kurdish and other minority languages in radio and television broadcasts. It also mentions criminal proceedings launched against a number of individuals -- including novelist Orhan Pamuk -- who either publicly referred to the killing of more than 1 million Armenians in 1915, or published books on Turkish-Armenian relations that were deemed “insulting” to the state.

For an overview of the State Department report, click here.