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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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KHRP Continues Efforts to Tackle Violence against Women with Trial Observation Mission
KHRP has continued its efforts to address violence against women in the Kurdish regions by dispatching a mission to observe the first hearing today in trial proceedings in Van, Turkey against a man charged with killing his pregnant wife.

The defendant, 25-year-old Kerem Çakan, is charged with crimes including intentional killing for allegedly stabbing 18-year-old Eylem Pesen and running her over with his car in May 2009 because he suspected that she was involved in a sexual relationship with his brother. In addition to attending the hearing, the KHRP mission was also set to meet with the prosecutor and the defence lawyer, as well as members of the victim’s family and local human rights organisations.

A recent KHRP fact-finding mission underscored the failure of the Turkish authorities to afford adequate protection to women who are exposed to domestic violence, as well as a broader array of obstacles that hinder women’s access to justice in the Kurdish region of the country. Particular concerns included language barriers in dealings with the justice system, a lack of awareness among 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 protective measures available under existing legislation.

‘The entrenched patterns of discrimination, violence and neglect highlighted by KHRP’s recent research are deeply alarming,’ said Executive Director Kerim Yıldız. ‘This, our first mission to observe trial proceedings focused specifically on spousal violence, should send a clear message that these issues are of fundamental importance and that the attitudes and practices of officials in relation to gender-based discrimination and violence are subject to international scrutiny.’

The KHRP delegation currently in Van to observe the trial will also conduct a training session for women’s organisations there on 29 August titled ‘The Protection of Women’s Rights under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: the Shadow Report System’.