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KHRP | Kurdish Human Rights Project

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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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Gruber Justice Prize

The European Commission of Human Rights held investigative hearings related to the Gundem, Cetin, Tekin and Kaya cases in Diyarbakir, Turkey from 6 November to 19 November 1995. These cases have all been declared Admissible in 1995 by the ECHR, and the investigative hearing are one of the possible steps the Commission can take once a case is declared Admissible. These hearing were to gather further information about the allegations. Applicants, along with other witnesses including villagers, doctors and public prosecutors, were called to give evidence at the hearings. At this stage of the cases, ECHR findings are confidential.

The cases of Ismet Gundem (application number 22275/93) and Salih Cetin (application number 22677/93) both involved allegations of the destruction of villages. In each case, the applicants' testimony says that their houses were destroyed, along with others in the villages, by Turkish authorities. Among the complaints invoked in both these cases are violation of the prohibition on inhuman and degrading treatment (article 3 of the Eutopean Convention on Human Rights), and violation of the right to respect for home and family life (article 8).

Torture during detention, a violation of article 3 of the European Convention, is the claim made in the case of Salih Tekin ( application number 22496/93). Mr. Tekin, a journalist who was working for the Ozgur Gundem newspaper, alleges that he was tortured during detention on different occassions by Turkish authorities. Other articles invoked include the guarantee of the right of access to a court (article 6), the right to receive and impart information (article 10), and the prohibition against discriminition (article 14).

The Kaya case (application number 227229/93), brought by Mehmet Kaya, involves the death of Menaf Kaya, his brother. Menaf was alledgedly killed by security forces while he was unarmed, in circumstances in which it was not necessary to open fire. The case invokes several articles of the European Convention, including article 2, the right to life; article 3, the prohibition against degrading treatment; and article 14, the prohibiton against discrimination.

The individual applicants were helped in taking their grievances to Strasbourg by the Human Rights Project in London. The legal team for these cases includes lawyers from Turkey and Britain. The Kurdish Human Rights Project has assisted over 300 individuals in bringing complaints before the Commission involving allegations of arbitrary executions, indiscriminate killings, torture, rape, disappearances, attacks on freedom of expression by persecution and prosecution of lawyers, parliamentarians and journalists. These cases represent a significant step forward in the work to promote accountability, democracy and the rule of law inTurkey.