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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 and BHRC have today published two reports scrutinising Turkey’s human rights record

‘Policing Human Rights in Turkey’ reports on the recent trial of committee members of the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) in Diyarbakir. This trial hit at the heart of the silenced human rights community in the Kurdish regions of Turkey. The Diyarbakir branch of the Association was closed in 1997 and ten committee members prosecuted over allegations of "making propaganda for" and assisting illegal organisations.

The report is written by lawyers who travelled to Diyarbakir on four occasions to observe the trial. It documents the trial process, putting it into context as part of the Turkish authorities’ attempt to disband an association that has, in the face of continuous repression, battled to provide an objective critique of Turkey’s notorious human rights record from within its borders. It exposes the impact of the closure of the branch over a two year period. "without the IHD, we have nowhere to go" says one resident of Diyarbakir.

Happily, the trial resulted in an acquittal, but the closure of the branch in the intervening period has far reaching effects in the region.

The second report, ‘Intimidation in Turkey’, provides an analysis of interviews with lawyers, human rights activists and politicians in Istanbul in March 1999. The delegation, representing KHRP, BHRC and Howe & Co, solicitors, reports on a frightening lack of respect for human rights in Turkey, and an increased level of repression in the run up to the 1999 elections and following the capture and detention of Abdullah Ocalan in February 1999.

Both reports call on the international community and the Turkish government to work together to ensure that Turkey meets international standards of fundamental human rights, including the right to a fair trial and the rights to freedom of thought, opinion and expression.

Both reports are available from the Kurdish Human Rights Project (0171 405-3835).


Notes for Editors:

The Bar Human Rights Committee was set up in 1991 to promote the protection and advance of human rights and to assist with the implementation of the rule of law throughout the world. It acts independently of the General Council of the Bar.

The Kurdish Human Rights Project works for the promotion and protection of human rights within the Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and the former Soviet Union.