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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.

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Next Week's KHRP Events on Rule of Law, Freedom of Expression and Human Rights Defenders
Saturday, 17 April 2010 22:19


From Monday 19 through to Thursday 22 April 2010, KHRP will host a series of events on the topic of Rule of Law, Freedom of Expression and Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) in Turkey. The events are being organised around the visit of Rehşan Bataray Saman, a board member of İnsan Hakları Derneği (the Human Rights Association of Turkey, İHD) Diyarbakır Branch, a longstanding partner organisation of the KHRP.

Despite the Turkish government’s launch of a ‘democratic initiative’ designed to solve the Kurdish conflict through peaceful dialogue, Turkey has fallen backwards into a state of uncertainty and unrest that has not been seen for many years.

Ms Saman will be here on behalf of Mr Muharrem Chairman of İHD’s Diyarbakır Branch, who is currently being held in Diyarbakır D-Type prison awaiting trial. Mr Muharrem was one of more than 80 people detained as part of an anti-terror operation launched simultaneously in 11 provinces of Turkey in the early hours of Christmas Eve 2009. The stated reason for Mr Erbey’s detention was his alleged membership of a terrorist organisation.  Evidence of such membership is scant and is based on speeches Mr Erbey made in the Europe about the human rights situation for Kurds in Turkey, as well as because of his work as a lawyer. Case files of İHD’s work before the European Court of Human Rights were confiscated, and raids on İHD offices continued into the spring.  İHD is the oldest national human rights NGO in Turkey.

Please come and join us next week for what promises to be a succession of interesting and though-provoking debates.

KHRP’s April 2010 Event’s Summary:

  • KHRP Drinks Reception, Monday 19 April
  • Panel Discussion on Freedom of Expression & the Media, hosted in conjunction with Article 19, Index on Censorship, English PEN, and the Free Word Centre, Tuesday 20 April
  • Seminar on Rule of Law in Turkey, hosted in conjunction with 25 Bedford Row Chambers, Wednesday 21 April
  • Seminar on Human Rights Defenders in Turkey, hosted in conjunction with Tooks Chambers, the Bar Human Rights Committee of England & Wales (BHRC) & the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, Thursday 22 April

The above events will feature among others, Rehşan Saman, İHD board member and HRD, John Kampfner, Director of Index on Censorship, and Maureen Freely, Journalist, Novelist and Academic, as well UK exiles Koray Düzgören, former KHRP applicant and renowned Turkish journalist and broadcaster, and Doğan Genç, prominent Kurdish HRD and former İHD Executive.

KHRP’s full programme of events is available to download here. Further information will be made available from the KHRP website.

‘Since last Christmas, we have witnessed violent clashes between civilians and security forces and the increasing use of anti-terror legislation to criminalise pro-Kurdish human rights advocates, including, lawyers, journalists, politicians and writers, as well as children, in violation of numerous principles of international human rights law’, said KHRP Chief Executive Kerim Yildiz. ‘KHRP remains gravely concerned about the developing human rights situation and next week’s programme seeks to raise awareness and to help examine and foster discussion around the dramatic increase in the arrest and detention of HRDs — particularly Kurds — working on minority issues and anti-terror cases in Turkey.’