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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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Charity Awards

Charity Awards

Gruber Prize


Gruber Justice Prize

2004 Annual Report - Page 7
Article Index
2004 Annual Report
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The need for independent and objective information about the Kurdish regions and the Kurds is all the greater due to the widespread censorship and intimidation of human rights defenders and the media within the regions. KHRP employs a wide range of tools in sharing information, building capacity and raising public awareness of human rights abuses and consequently in adding pressure on governments to reform.

Through public awareness, education and communication initiatives, KHRP keeps informed governmental and intergovernmental bodies, press and broadcast media, civil society organisations, academic institutions and supporters regularly updated about its work and key issues regarding human rights.

The year 2004 saw a continued level of interest in the Kurdish regions in the aftermath of the US-led Iraq invasions and the ensuing elections. KHRP represented a focal point of information about this, Turkey's pro-EU reforms and other developments to domestic and international media. Through liaising on news and sending regular press releases, the organisation or its work was featured in media across the UK, USA, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Kurdish regions in 2004.

KHRP is the only independent, non-political human rights body of its type. In the regions, human rights defenders face continual intimidation and censorship intended to silence them into submission. For this reason and others, a founding aim of KHRP was to provide a service that no other organisation within the regions could provide, and to enhance capacity by transferring skills to partner organisations. Throughout 2004, joint work with partner organisations has included participation on litigation, advocacy, internships, fact-finding and trial observation missions, seminars and meetings and publications. The broad range of issues on which KHRP has collaborated with these groups has included the reform of the ECtHR, the potential impact of Turkey's accession to the EU, women's rights in the Kurdish regions and large-scale infrastructure projects in the regions including oil and gas pipelines and dams.

KHRP consults with stakeholders at local, national and international levels, including local men and women, girls and boys; gate keepers including local leaders, teachers, health workers, religious leaders, trade unions; local community groups; intermediate human rights bodies; national, regional and international non-governmental organisations; representatives of the bar; relevant government representatives and their embassies; donors; and intergovernmental organisations, decision and policy makers.

All of its work combines to reduce inequalities affecting the most disadvantaged women and men, boys and girls in their access to resources, participation in decision-making and exercising of rights. It works with the most disadvantaged groups in all aspects of its projects to ensure that benefits are long-term and shared fully, and has had a lasting impact on improving the responsiveness of decision and policy makers to their needs. Key to KHRP's success is its work to improve alliances, collaboration and networking at all levels, and to improve the capacity of partner organisations, local communities and other stakeholders to tackle the causes of poverty effectively, efficiently and in a sustainable way.

KHRP working partnerships

In 2004, KHRP continued its work with partner organisations in the Kurdish regions including:

Forum Law Centre (formerly Union of Armenian Lawyers)

The Centre provides advocacy services, consultations and conducts litigation. KHRP has worked with the Forum Law Centre and its legal team on joint ECHR litigation, training and publication projects

Azerbaijan National Committee of Helsinki Citizen's Assembly

The Committee raises public awareness of human rights and works to improve the capacity of civil society. KHRP has conducted a series of training programmes together with HCA and works jointly on litigation.

Contemporary Journalists Association

The Contemporary Journalists Association is focused on freedom of expression and the media in Turkey. It has worked with KHRP on trial observations, fact-finding missions and the publication of case reports.

Contemporary Lawyers Association

The Contemporary Lawyers Association assists KHRP with the implementation of training, trial observation and fact-finding in the region. It is also involved with the preparation of publications and the internship programme.


Göç-Der is at the forefront of refugee and internal displacement issues in Turkey and was the first organisation of its kind. It liaises with KHRP on litigation to the ECtHR, trial observations and fact-finding missions.

The Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for the Oppressed People in Turkey (Mazlum-Der)

Mazlum-Der is a civil society organisation with a particular focus on freedom of religion in Turkey. It works with KHRP on litigation, training, fact-finding and trial observations in the regions.

The Foundation for Legal and Social Studies (TOHAV)

With its headquarters in Istanbul, TOHAV aims to improve the rule of law and human rights for Kurds living in Turkey. KHRP works with TOHAV on cases to international human rights mechanisms and on researching human rights issues.

The Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD)

With its headquarters in Ankara and branches throughout Turkey, IHD is the largest human rights organisation based in Turkey. It liaises with KHRP on litigation, training, fact-finding and trial observation missions and publications.


Media Relations

In 2004, KHRP continued to deliver regular press releases, proactively seeking expose issues of concern and respond to breaking news. Press releases circulated concerned issues such as the launch by KHRP and Kurdish Women's Project of the Charter for the Rights and Freedoms of Women in the Kurdish Regions and Diaspora; the International Criminal Court; Turkey's accession to the EU and Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline. KHRP was featured in press and broadcast media throughout Europe, America, Asia, Australia and the Kurdish regions, including the BBC, Anatolian Press, Asia Times, Baku Sun, Channel 4, Financial Times, Independent, Economist, Guardian, Kurdishmedia, Reuters and Voice of America radio.

Participation at Events

Throughout 2004, KHRP attended a wide range of international conferences, seminars, public lectures and special events, posting presentations on the website and making documentation available on request. The following are some of the events in which KHRP participated:

Lecture concerning the role of human rights in British foreign policy, delivered by representative of UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 29 January 2004

Lecture on the human rights situation in Kurdish regions and the role of human rights organisations, Goldsmiths College, London, 24 February 2004

Formal Presentation at the tenth session of the UN Working Group on Minorities, Switzerland, 1-5 March 2004

Participation in panel discussion to mark the English language publication of 'International Colony Kurdistan' by Ismail Besikci, 3 March 2004

Lecture on history and situation of Kurdish people in Asia and the Middle East, Model UN Conference, Bath - UK, 6 March 2004

Co-sponsor of commemoration of the anniversary of Halabja, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, March 2004

European Union and European Parliament meeting to discuss human rights situation in Kurdish regions, Brussels, 17 March 2004

Bar Human Rights Committee's biannual lecture, 'Why Africa?', at St. Paul's Cathedral given by Sir Bob Geldof, 20 April 2004

Parliamentary public meeting on the EU, Turkey and the Kurdish question, London, 4 May 2004

Parliamentary public meeting on the Kurds in Syria, London, 18 May 2004

Royal Institute of Philosophy annual lecture, 'Simple Truths', given by Professor Noam Chomsky, 19 May 2004

Public lecture on human rights and humanitarian law in Occupied Iraq, organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross and LSE, London, 25 May 2004

Roundtable briefing with UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, regarding human rights in Turkey and Turkey's accession plans, 25 May 2004Public meeting at the House of Commons concerning the situation of the Kurds in Iran, 14 July 2004

Sponsorship and participation in Hidden World Cultures at the Traquair Fair, Peebleshire, UK, 31 July - 1 August 2004.

NGO Roundtable Forum at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, convened to discuss human rights situation in Turkey, London, 6 September 2004.

Debate about the Kurdish situation in Turkey at the Cambridge Speakers' Forum, 21 September 2004

Seminar on EU-Turkey relations organised by the Centre for European Reform, London, 5 October 2004

Presentation of report concerning human rights violations against Kurds in Turkey at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation meeting, Warsaw, 4-15 October 2004

Presentation and Keynote Speech concerning the role of NGOs in the protection and promotion of Kurdish human rights, International Conference on Kurdish Human Rights, San Francisco, USA, September 2004

Panel discussion concerning the implications of Turkey's EU accession for the Kurds, European Social Forum, London, 16 October 2004

Meetings with German Foreign Office and Heinrich Boll, Berlin, 18-19 October 2004

Group meeting of the Green Party/ EFA Group of the European Parliament concerning the future of Turkey in the EU, Istanbul, 19-22 October 2004

Meetings with MEPs and staff of the European Commission, November 2004

Expert seminar, 'Minority rights in Turkey: an agenda for change?', hosted by Chatham House and Minority Rights Group International, December 2004