Skip to content

KHRP | Kurdish Human Rights Project

narrow screen resolution wide screen resolution Increase font size Decrease font size Default font size default color brown color green color red color blue color

Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

You are here: 
Skip to content

Charity Awards

Charity Awards

Gruber Prize


Gruber Justice Prize

2010 News
KHRP Publishes Latest Issue of Legal Review
Thursday, 23 December 2010 16:20

KHRP is pleased to announce the publication of the latest issue of Legal Review, our bi-annual legal journal. Legal Review is essential reading for anyone interested in legal developments in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and the Caucuses and is the only existing legal journal covering significant legislative and policy developments in the Kurdish regions.

Legal Review 18 covers the period from July to December 2010 and features news and updates relevant to the Kurdish regions, as well as summaries and analysis of relevant decisions of international, UK and US Courts. Articles in this edition offer some reflections on the Abyei Arbitration as a possible model for other situations involving territorial or other disputes between a state and a constituent region or people, and assess the operation, possibilities and challenges of the pilot judgment procedure at the European Court.

The latest issue of the Legal Review can be downloaded for free from the KHRP website here (alongside an archive of back-issues).

KHRP highlights the abuses suffered by human rights defenders on Human Rights Day 2010
Friday, 10 December 2010 12:17

The theme for the 2010 International Human Rights Day is human rights defenders who act to end discrimination. Human Rights Defenders across the Kurdish regions work on a daily basis to end discrimination, whether it is against Kurds, other cultural or linguistic minorities, religious or political minorities, women, or sexual minorities.  Today, KHRP would like to remind everyone about just how difficult their work is and to applaud them for it.

In November 2010, KHRP submitted a shadow report to UN Committee against Torture regarding the situation in Turkey, outlining the most pressing human rights concerns in Turkey over the past four years. The report provided evidence that the Kurds suffer unduly from torture and inhumane and degrading treatment, and stressed that such human rights abuses are primarily a result of the culture of impunity that is entrenched in the Turkish criminal justice system. Consequently human rights defenders are targeted by the State for giving a voice to those that are being suppressed. Under Turkey’s draconian anti-terror legislation minorities are disproportionately arrested, detained and convicted as political prisoners, many of them suffering treatment which violates both CAT and other international human rights instruments to which Turkey is a party. Certain provisions of Turkey’s current legislation pave the way for systematic violations of freedom of expression and freedom of association. Such laws facilitate the interference in the efforts of human rights defenders to communicate legitimate criticism of the state and its representatives. Further, problems are posed by legislation specifically regulating the establishment and functioning of NGOs.

KHRP also submitted a report in December to the Human Rights Committee monitoring the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights concerning Iran. The report highlights how the Iranian authorities use arbitrary detention and prosecutions as a means of restricting or preventing the expression of views seen as a threat to the status quo. This particularly obstructs the work of journalists, human rights defenders, political and social activists, students, teachers and union leaders, large numbers of whom have fled Iran during the past year and live as refugees in neighboring Turkey.

KHRP Chief Executive Kerim Yildiz said today, “The vital work human rights defenders do, often at great personal risk, deserves the support and recognition of the international community. Without the determination and commitment that they give to fighting injustice and ending discrimination, many human rights violations against minority or other marginalized groups would be swept under the carpet.”

KHRP speaks to MEPs at the European Parliament on the Situation of Women in the Kurdish Regions
Wednesday, 08 December 2010 12:48

KHRP’s Managing Director is today delivering a seminar at the European Parliament in Brussels, on the situation of women in the Kurdish regions. The seminar is the third in the KHRP’s series of lunchtime seminars that have been hosted by Jean Lambert MEP and held at the Parliament. Today’s meeting is chaired by Franziska Keller MEP, member of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee.

The seminar series seeks to draw attention to and discuss human rights issues in the Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. KHRP aims to bring together key members of the European Parliament to discuss areas of concern around human rights, the environment and regional security in the Kurdish regions. Past seminars have addressed the environmental impact of Turkey and Iran’s cross border military operations into Kurdistan Iraq and the situation of Internally Displaced Persons or IDPs throughout the regions.

The third seminar will discuss how women throughout the Kurdish regions are disproportionately affected by crimes against their person and their property, and continue to face a range of barriers to accessing legal remedies that are theoretically available to them. Issues to be addressed will include language barriers, a lack of awareness amongst women of their rights, severe failings in the provision of legal aid and medical examinations, and the routine failure of officials to take complaints by women seriously and to implement legislation intended to afford them protection.

The seminar seeks to provide recommendations on how state authorities, such as the police, legislators, prosecutors or judges, can increase their protection of women victims of discrimination and violence, and to consider potential action points for the European Union to take.

Managing Director Rachel Bernu noted, ‘Many women across the Kurdish regions are suffering from intolerable levels of discrimination and violence. The EU must engage with the governments in these regions to improve the situation of women and actively contribute to promoting their rights. In order to assist in this, these seminars are important for raising awareness in Europe on human rights issues, especially those of women, in the Kurdish areas.’

KHRP Highlights Iran’s Failure to Respect Civil and Political Rights
Tuesday, 07 December 2010 16:27

On 31 March 2011, the UN Human Rights Committee (Committee) will consider Iran’s implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), as part of the Committee’s 101st session in New York (11 March – 1 April 2011).

In anticipation of this review, on 1 December 2010 KHRP provided a submission with a list of issues to the Committee, to be considered in connection with the Committee’s examination of Iran’s Third Periodic Report on the ICCPR.  Signatory States to the ICCPR must report to the Committee on a regular basis.  These reports, along with submissions from other stakeholders such as NGOs and civil society representatives, inform the Committee’s assessment of each state’s compliance with the ICCPR and help determine its concerns and recommendations to these states.

KHRP highlights current issues in Iran concerning the right to life, freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, the right to liberty and security of person, freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention, the right to a fair and public hearing, the right to freedom of expression, and the rights of minorities.  KHRP notes the widespread contravention of such rights and freedoms in Iran, particularly as against journalists, activists, teachers and students from ethnic minorities.

KHRP Managing Director, Rachel Bernu, said: ‘As shown by KHRP’s submission, Iran must make a genuine commitment to improving its compliance with the ICCPR and take steps to prevent human rights abuses as well as ensure the provision of support and redress for victims of violations.’

KHRP’s submission is available to download from our website here, and more information on the 101st session of the Committee can be found on the website for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights here.

KHRP Shadow Report and UNCAT Concluding Observations Highlight Torture Concerns
Tuesday, 30 November 2010 15:07

The 45th session of the UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) took place 1-19 November 2010. After reviewing Turkey’s third periodic report on its implementation of the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), the Committee published its concluding observations. In preparation for the review, KHRP submitted a shadow report to the Committee, which detailed its concerns regarding Turkey’s compliance with the convention.

The Committee’s observations reflect the concerns of KHRP’s submission. The concerns especially point to the ongoing ill-treatment and torture of prisoners at the hands of state actors in Turkey, and the ongoing climate of impunity for perpetrators of torture. KHRP’s shadow report and UNCAT concluding observations both underline that this impunity stems from ineffective investigations which lead to very few convictions. 

A particular concern of UNCAT and KHRP is the systematic violence carried out against Kurdish women who are more vulnerable to specific kinds of torture at the hands of security forces, the police and the village guards, including rape, other sexual violence and harassment.

KHRP’s Chief Executive Kerim Yildiz said, “The Committee’s concluding observations reflect what KHRP and its partners have been saying over the past few years.  Torture and ill treatment remain commonplace in Turkey and impunity is the norm for perpetrators. Although Turkey’s stated ‘zero-tolerance policy on torture’ is important in and of itself, the machinery to support such a policy is fundamental to its success.  The Committee’s technical expertise and its wider resources from the UN could go a long way to helping the Turkish government and NGOs in Turkey in developing a robust system and implementation mechanisms for this policy.  We hope this report will encourage the international community, including the EU, to strategically support Turkey in ending torture.”

<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 14