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HYPOCRISY: Turning Point USA Founder Charlie Kirk Shuts Down Free Speech at Politicon Debate

Kirk allegedly sent jackboots after one of his critics at Politicon.

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Turning Point USA (TPUSA) founder Charlie Kirk, who bills himself as one of the most outspoken advocates for freedom of speech in the US, reportedly shut out dissent from a debate that he had with leftist Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk at Politicon 2019 last night.

In usual fashion, Kirk paid lip service to the notion of free speech during the debate, bemoaning “speech police” who are “telling people they can’t say certain things” such as “America is the greatest country in the history of the world.”

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However, it does not appear that Kirk practices what he preaches. The TPUSA founder allegedly had security personnel ban paleoconservative video blogger Nick Fuentes from attending the event, with several goons blocking Fuentes from entering the venue.

The host of “America First” noted that he was a paying customer of Politcon and had the right to attend the event, but security refused to let him in anyway.

Law enforcement also accosted Fuentes when he went to approach Kirk to have a discussion with him and request a photograph. It seems that Kirk is willing to use the same bullying tactics as the Left when it comes to protecting himself and his organization from unauthorized dissent.

“I wasn’t going to ask him anything. I was just there to watch the event like everybody else. They said I’m going to disrupt. I haven’t been disruptive yet,” Fuentes said to reporter Jorge Ventura following the incident.

“They said that what I tweeted yesterday was indicative of the fact that I might disrupt, that I pose a risk,” Fuentes said of the discussion he had with security personnel.

Kirk is largely being blamed for the backlash against Fuentes at Politicon, as a revolt of young campus conservatives asking uncomfortable questions to Kirk is underway. Kirk has been grilled at events throughout the country where has repeatedly become flustered and offered less-than-adequate responses.

Fuentes has confirmed that the Q&A portion of the debate was removed because of his presence, as Kirk apparently no longer wants to have the robust discussion if he cannot frame its parameters.

Other right-wing commentators are piling on Kirk because of his apparent hypocrisy, as the situation becomes a public relations nightmare for TPUSA.

Another TPUSA speaker told an audience of students at Penn State University just last week that Big Tech censorship does not exist, despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary. Kirk’s organization is fraying at the seams, and the grassroots resistance against TPUSA is only strengthening because of this controversy.

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Turkey Human Rights, Crackdown on Press Freedom Comes Under Renewed Scrutiny in Geneva

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Last week, the UK-based International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR)and the Press Emblem Campaign held an information meeting in Geneva, to coincide with the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Turkey over hate crimes, minority, and LGBT rights, and press freedoms with a specific focus on the nation’s crackdown on these rights during the failed 2016 coup and the emergency rule that followed during which the government allegedly used its security powers to arrest thousands of people who opposed it.

Turkey’s human rights record was last reviewed in 2015 during the UPR. This was the third time in 10 years that Turkey’s record has come under review

Diplomats, minister, prominent members of Turkish media and human rights defenders – including those who have been forced into exile – were present at the event. Also in attendance was former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice Ambassador Stephen Rapp. Louise Pyne Jones, head of research, International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR) moderated the event. Two panels were held. The first was called “Press Freedom” and included Yavuz Baydar, editor-in-chief of Ahval; Evin Baris Altintas, journalist and blogger; and Massimo Frigo; senior Legal Advisor for International Commission for Jurists (ICJ). The second panel, “Human Rights Defenders,” included Dr. Sebnem Korur Fincanci; president of the Human Rights Foundation in Turkey; Nurcan Baysal, award-winning Turkish Human Rights Defender and Journalist; and Anne van Wezel, former co-chair EESC EU-Turkey Joint Consultative Committee.

Following an attempted, and failed, “coup” against the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) Party in 2016, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused many of his opponents and naysayers, including journalists who were critical of him and his government, of supporting terrorism and prosecuted many of them. Erdogan also suggested that the attempted coup was the work of exiled Imam Fethullah Gulen and his movement, which Turkey considers a terrorist organization. Turkey has asked for the United States to extradite Gulen. Gulen has been living in the United States in a self-imposed exile since 1999. Over 250 people died as a result of the failed coup attempt.

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Soon after the coup, Turkey implemented a state of emergency (SOE) which it said: “was put into effect in order to ensure the continuity of effective implementation of the measures for the protection of the rights and freedoms of our citizens, democracy and the rule of law.” However, the AK Party’s critics have maintained that the AK Party used the umbrella of its broader emergency powers and continuously postponed ending that state of emergency, in an attempt to destroy its political opposition.

Many journalists were apprehended under this state of emergency until it was lifted on July 19, 2018. As such, for three straight years, and up until 2019, the Committee to Protect Journalists ranked Turkey as the worst jailer of journalists in the world. According to Turkish, English, and Arabic-language news site Ahval, when China jailed 48 journalists to Turkey’s 47.

Nurcan Baysal, an award-winning Kurdish Human Rights Defender, Journalist, and contributor to Ahval, said she was even cautious with the words she used on the panel discussion for fear of punishment by the Turkish government. “We are censoring ourselves because of these fears,” Baysal said. “For example, before coming here I asked myself if I should use certain words, should I use the word invasion, or should I use the word war, because today in Turkey even to say war is forbidden,” she said. “Everything that I say has an effect on not only my life but of the lives of my children and family.”

Ahval editor in chief Yavuz Baydar said, “No state or power can decide who is a journalist, it is the domain for professional organizations and should always be separate from power.”

According to the IOHR, “In the previous UPR cycle of Turkey, the Turkish government officially supported 14 recommendations related to strengthening the legal framework on freedom of expression and 5 recommendations specifically related to bringing terrorism legislation in line with international human rights standards.

Hugh Williamson, the Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch recently said, “The huge number of journalists, politicians, and perceived government critics in prison and on trial flies in the face of the Turkish government’s public statements about the state of human rights in the country “Turkey’s disregard of human rights is a disservice to its citizens, who deserve to live with dignity and freedom.”

Meanwhile, Turkey’s state-run pro-government newspaper the Daily Sabah put out propaganda about the Erdogan government writing, “U.N. Human Rights Council highlighted Turkey’s achievements in the fields of judiciary, human rights and humanitarian causes on Tuesday during a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) meeting in Geneva.”

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