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Turkey EU bid threatened by abuse allegations

[JURIST] Advocacy group Mental Disability Rights International (MDRI) [advocacy website], Wednesday released a report of human rights abuses [PDF text; PDF press release; video press release] revealing a high prevalence of torture and starvation in Turkey's psychiatric institutions. The results of MDRI's two-year investigation could further hinder Turkey's attempts to join the European Union [official website]. The report shows findings of routine abuse of electroconvulsive therapy said to breach European regulations and urges the EU to investigate further. The report surfaced prior to the planned formal EU accession process scheduled to begin Monday. Austria, France and Cyprus have expressed reservations about Turkey joining the EU while the UK is a strong supporter of Turkey's entry. Earlier this year, Turkey vowed to make progress on human rights reforms [JURIST report] in pursuit of EU membership. The EU has background on the enlargement process. The Guardian has more.

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