Sayeed Muhammad: In a latest finding, Amnesty International has Turkey of creating a “chilling climate of fear” across society and curtailing the work of human rights activists since a failed 2016 coup. The rights group said freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial have been “decimated” under the state of emergency introduced five days after the attempted putsch on July 15, 2016, leading to the closure of over 1,300 associations and foundations have been shut down under the measures. Moreover, another 140,000 public sector employees have been fired or suspended including judges over alleged links to putschists or Kurdish militants, with some 50,000 people taken into custody on terror charges, reports AFP. Last week Turkish parliament approved the seventh extension of the emergency laws which Amnesty said had undermined the country’s “once vibrant independent civil society”. The main opposition Republican People’s Party staged nationwide rallies to protest the move. However, Ankara claims that it faces multiple terror threats and that the measures do not affect citizens’ everyday lives.In a report titled “Weathering the storm: Defending human rights in Turkey’s climate of fear”, Amnesty criticised the authorities’ attacks on rights activists and their “abusive” use of the criminal justice system. “A chilling climate of fear is sweeping across Turkish society,” the AI report said, adding, examples of individuals it believes were being targeted and unfairly imprisoned including that of civil society activist Osman Kavala, who has been in prison since October.