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Annual Report 2002

Éditeur : Compte d'auteur Date & Lieu : 2003, London
Préface : Pages : 62
Traduction : ISBN :
Langue : AnglaisFormat : 210x295 mm
Code FIKP : Liv. Eng. Khr. Rep. 2002 N° 2228Thème : Général

Table des Matières Introduction Identité PDF
Annual Report 2002

Annual Report 2002

Kurdish Human Rights Project

Compte d’auteur

"KHRP's work in bringing cases to the European Court of Human Rights, seeking justice for the victims of human rights violations including torture and extra-judicial killings, has been ground-breaking. In many of these cases the European Court of Human Rights has concluded that the Turkish authorities have violated individual's rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. Amnesty International salutes the work of this organisation over the last 10 years in defending human rights."
Kate Allen, Director Amnesty International UK

"My family is scattered. My father has been killed. My mother is on the run, with no money, no assets, no house, no home. My brothers are not there and I miss them really badly. So what's going to happen to me? I am a complainant of the tyranny done to us. I am a complainant of the state of Turkey. I request the Kurdish Human Rights Project to take my case to all international courts and institutions. I authorise them to act in my name. They talk human rights. I am a human. Where are my rights?"
A Kurdish Applicant before the ECtHR

"For more than a decade after the military coup, governments in Turkey committed the gravest of human rights while blandly denying that the violations were taking place. By pioneering the use of the personal petition to the European Court of Human Rights in Turkey KHRP helped to make those violations a matter of record in the form of court judgments. This has added valuable leverage in the continuing struggle to bring abuses such as 'disappearance', forced displacement, torture and repression of free speech to an end."
Jonathan Sugden, Director Human Rights Watch UK


Dear Friends,
It is with great pleasure that we present you with the 10th Anniversary edition of KHRP's Annual Report. Looking back over what has been a decade of dedicated work in the promotion and protection of the human rights of Kurds and non-Kurds alike, we cannot help but feel a sense of pride over what KHRP has achieved.
Like many other NGOS, when the KHRP was founded 10 years ago it started with no staff and no money, but with a single idea. That idea was the need to create a democratic platform for the discussion of the possible solution of the Kurdish question and to explore how justice could be brought about in the Kurdish region.

Flourishing from this initial purpose, KHRP today is at the forefront of the struggle for human rights in the Kurdish regions. By giving priority to the violation of fundamental human rights at the international level, we have successfully utilised existing human rights mechanisms including the European Court of Human Rights to bring about redress to hundreds of individual applicants. This has helped to establish precedents in a number of areas including extra-judicial killings, torture, rape, village destruction, freedom of expression, and 'disappearances'. As a result, the Turkish government has reformed much of its policy, passing several reform packages in 2002 aimed at extensively amending many of the nation s rigid laws.

Remaining relentless in our mission to gather first hand knowledge of the human rights situation in the Kurdish region, over the years KHRP has conducted innumerable trial observations, fact-finding missions, research and environmental and public awareness projects which have provided concrete sources of information to governmental and non-governmental institutions. This year, such laborious efforts have allowed KHRP to produce an unprecedented number of publications containing extensive information on human rights abuses in the Kurdish regions.

In spite of our significant achievements, however, much remains to be done. Throughout 2002, news of alleged human rights violations continued to reach us daily from the Kurdish regions of Iraq, Iran, Syria, the former Soviet Union, and Turkey.
In Iran, the numerous reports of actual or prospective human rights violations, including mass arbitrary arrests, amputations, public floggings, and executions, clearly indicate that the country's human rights situation, which has always been a cause for concern, suffered a further decline over the past year. For Iran's nearly eight million Kurds who continue to be denied basic rights, the effects of such persecution were dire.

The prospects of Syria's large Kurdish population in 2002, meanwhile, did not improve. Minorities in Syria were still barred from accessing basic civil and political rights and were prone to arrest and maltreatment for speaking Kurdish or showing adherence to Kurdish national and cultural identity. Thus, to KHRP's great distress, a situation in which the rights of Syrian Kurds are violated on a daily basis remains a reality.

In the Caucasus this year, KHRP further developed its recent series of training programmes to ensure the participation of civil society in the promotion of human rights in Armenia and Azerbaijan. KHRP is aware that if human rights lawyers and activists are to successfully challenge States that have newly ratified the European Convention to abide by Convention standards, an enormous amount of external support is needed. Consequently, KHRP conducted a total of four litigation training seminars in Armenia and Azerbaijan which provided local practitioners and human rights activists with invaluable instruction in the use of the Convention. Furthermore, in 2002, KHRP lodged the first three cases ever against Armenia with the European Court.

One of our most pressing concerns throughout 2002, that remains with us today, is the impending war in Iraq which, should it occur, will lead result in the untold misery of thousands of innocent people. With gravity, we reiterate our call to the international community to join together to dissuade the principle participants in the conflict to work towards a peaceful solution. With 10 years of experience in the fight against human rights abuses, we wish to remind all that should such an event transpire, unimaginable human rights violations will occur, the burden of which shall most certainly be heavy.

Regarding Turkey's progression towards European Union accession, the EU in 2002 issued its Regular Report on Turkey. In its assessment of Turkey's efforts to improve the condition of human rights in the country, the Report while acknowledging this year's reform packages concluded that Turkey "does not meet the political criteria" required to enter into EU accession talks as the reforms contain numerous limitations, including major restrictions on many basic rights, such as freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of religion, and the right to legal redress. Of notable concern are the ongoing allegations of torture and of extra-judicial killings, particularly prevalent in the Kurdish region of Southeast Turkey.

KHRP consider the persistence of such violations thoroughly disheartening. Nonetheless, the current situation in Turkey is one where a fragile ceasefire exists. This offers a unique opportunity for both the international community and the Turkish state to genuinely bring about dialogue between the State and the Kurds for a lasting peace. All at KHRP, who have long been battling for the rights of Turkey's Kurdish minority, sincerely hope that such an opportunity will not go amiss.

What has been truly an eventful year for all at KHRP drew to a close in December with our 10th Anniversary Lecture with guest speaker Noam Chomsky at St. Paul's Cathedral. The event, attended by over 2000 people, was an unforgettable tribute to KHRP’s decade long struggle for human rights in the Kurdish regions. Warm thanks goes out to all those who made the evening possible.

Finally, as we embark on our second decade of struggle, KHRP wishes to express profound gratitude to all those who have made our work possible over the last ten years. Special thanks are given to our founding members, board of directors, international board of patrons, advisory board, and the KHRP legal team. The hard work of all past and current members of staff is also deeply appreciated. Additionally, warm thanks are given to the Human Rights Association (IHD) and their regional partners. We are most grateful to those individuals, foundations, trusts, and governments who have provided us with the necessary financial resources.

Thanks to these people, KHRP is a shining example of what can be achieved when different peoples, cultures, and experiences combine to fight side by side in support of basic human rights upon which all human beings are entitled to rely irrespective of race, creed or colour.

Kerim Yildiz
Executive Director

Mark Muller

February 2003

The Role of The Kurdish Human Rights Project

KHRP was established in December 1992 in response to the abysmal human rights situation in the Kurdish regions and the international community's failure to effectively call Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and the former Soviet Union to account for the treatment of their Kurdish populations.

These states, encompassing the Kurdish regions, have ratified many international agreements relating to human rights, thereby freely volunteering their individual consent to be bound by them. KHRP was born out of a desire to utilise these international instruments in order to ensure that consistent violators of human rights within the Kurdish regions were made accountable before the legal structures which police both the European and wider international communities. Today, KHRP has earned international respect for its consistent work in drawing attention to human rights violations in the Kurdish regions.

KHRP employs a team of ten permanent members of staff in England and Turkey. Our UK office is located in central London. KHRP is both a limited company and a registered charity.
The Executive Director and a Board of Trustees - also known as Directors - are responsible for the management and policy development of the Project.

KHRP constructs much of its work around four core projects: Human Rights Advocacy & Training, Trial Observations & Fact-Finding Missions, Research & Publication, and Public Awareness, Education & Communication Strategies. Additionally, in 2002, the KHRP established a fifth project, the Environmental Unit, in order to combat human rights violations imposed by large-scale infrastructure projects. All of KHRP's projects are closely integrated and inter-related. Much of this work is carried out by our professional staff at the KHRP offices in London, who are directly involved in the implementation of projects from the initial planning and preparation through to their final evaluation stage. We also rely on interns and volunteers who provide our staff with invaluable research and casework assistance as well as support in the practical running of our office's activities.

The central core around which KHRP's activities revolve is our intensive legal work. KHRP's Human Rights Advocacy & Training project provides legal advice and assistance to a large number of individuals in the Kurdish regions who are complaining that their rights under the European Convention of Human Rights have been violated by the States. KHRP carries out preliminary case preparation, and the drafting and pleading of cases, both orally and in writing, before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. This also involves attending hearings in Strasbourg and Turkey, and coordinating the caseload of KHRP's Legal Team comprising lawyers in the UK, Turkey and elsewhere.

The Trial Observation & Fact-Finding Project seeks to investigate and draw attention to human rights problems in the Kurdish area. It involves the preparation of and participation in fact-finding missions in the Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and the former Soviet Union, attending proceedings against individuals and organisations as trial observers in order to monitor adherence to the concepts of Rule of Law and Due Process in these countries, producing reports that are distributed in order to raise public awareness of human rights violations in the Kurdish regions, and making recommendations to governmental and non-governmental organisations.

The Research & Publications Project involves carrying out inhouse or commissioned research which is disseminated through the publication of reports. These are intended to supply relevant governmental and non-governmental organisations and interested individuals with a sound factual base from which to make informed decisions with regard to the allegations of human rights abuses in the Kurdish regions.

KHRP's Public Awareness Project complements the other programmes by ensuring that publications are disseminated to the widest audience possible. Additionally, KHRP produces a quarterly newsletter with a wide distribution list and regularly updates its website. A further focus of this project is developing good relations with both international and domestic press and media and participating in international conferences. KHRP also makes submissions to international organs such as the United Nations (UN) and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), appeals to governments throughout the world and provides information to other non-governmental organisations in the United Kingdom and abroad.
Throughout 2002, KHRP continued to invoke the following international mechanisms:

- The European Convention on Human Rights
The Convention guarantees human rights and fundamental freedoms including the right to life, freedom of expression and association, freedom from arbitrary detention and torture and the right to a fair trial. As Turkey, and recently Armenia and Azerbaijan, are party to the Convention, opportunities exist for individuals in those countries to bring cases of human rights violations by the State to European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

- The Organisation For Security And Cooperation In Europe (OSCE)
The OSCE's remit incorporates the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. KHRP submits petitions to various OSCE bodies and participates actively in the OSCE Human Dimension Mechanisms in order to stress the concern that some member states, in particular Turkey, are not fulfilling their obligations under international law to adhere to internationally accepted human rights standards.

- The United Nations
Human rights violations throughout the Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Armenia and Azerbaijan can also be addressed through United Nations mechanisms. KHRP places particular emphasis on the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the United Nations Convention against Torture. KHRP presents submissions to a number of United Nations non-treaty mechanisms in order to highlight the horrific nature of the human rights situation in the Kurdish regions. Among the mechanisms which KHRP utilises are the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the UN Special Rapporteur on Summary and Arbitrary Executions, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial and Arbitrary Killings, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the UN Special Rapporteur on States of Emergency, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of the Judiciary and the Working Group on Disappearances.

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