KHRP in Brussels and Strasbourg
The KHRP- assisted case of Chiragov and others v Armenia, appeared before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg today, the 15th September. The six applicants and their families, all Azeri Kurds, appeared before the court to argue how they had been deprived of their right to peaceful enjoyment of their possessions as guaranteed by Article 1 of Protocol 1 to the European Convention of Human Rights. The applicants were forced to flee their villages in the Lachin region of Azerbaijan during an attack by Armenia in 1992. The applicants have since been unable to return to their homelands in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, as the area is still the subject of an international dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Following today’s hearing, Catriona Vine, Legal Director of the Kurdish Human Right Project noted, 'This case and this hearing is an important step in shining a light on the everyday person living in Nagorno-Karabakh. Too often the conflict is talked about at a political level and the people who have lost their homes are simply forgotten.'
Also today, KHRP Managing Director Rachel Bernu presented at a seminar highlighting the situation for Displaced Persons in the Kurdish regions. The seminar, which was hosted by KHRP Advisor Jean Lambert MEP and took place at the European Parliament in Brussels, was aimed at drawing attention to the issues many Internally Displaced Peoples (IDP) in the Kurdish region face and the role of the international community in seeking sustainable solutions. In Turkey alone, there are an estimated 3.5 million internally displaced persons, representing nearly 5% of the State’s population. In some districts in the Southeast, as much as 90% of the population are IDPs. In Iraq, there are a further over 1.5 million IDPs, many residing in the Kurdish region and the surrounding disputed areas.
'Displacement is endemic in the Kurdish regions and it is vital that when the EU engages with governments in this region that is actively contributing to a solution to this problem. KHRP hopes the EU will increase its support for agencies like the UNHCR and other frontline organisations working on these issues all the while working with regimes to develop better policies and practices in relation to displaced persons' said Rachel Bernu, Managing Director of the Kurdish Human Rights Project.
Download KHRP’s presentation on the situation of IDPs in the Kurdish regions.