|KHRP Marks United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture|
KHRP today welcomed the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on behalf of the countless individuals who continue to suffer torture and ill-treatment in the Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and the Caucasus. Such abuses persist both in and outside of official detention centres in all of these areas, undergirded by a pervasive lack of transparency and culture of impunity for state officials.
Recent KHRP activities aimed at addressing this situation have included a series of training seminars across Turkey and Kurdistan, Iraq designed to strengthen the capacity of local civil society actors to make effective use of international human rights mechanisms in response to allegations of torture and ill-treatment. KHRP also dispatched missions to Turkey in December 2008 and March 2009 to investigate the human rights situation in the country’s detention system and to observe the trial of 60 officials charged in connection with the case of political activist Engin Çeber, who died in custody in October 2008 as a result of injuries allegedly caused by severe beatings.
In December 2008, the European Court of Human Rights found Armenia in violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (prohibition of torture) in cases filed with KHRP assistance on behalf of three members of opposition political parties who were arrested amid protests against contested presidential elections in March 2003.
‘The appalling abuses meted out to detainees and other individuals throughout the Kurdish regions on a day-to-day basis will continue until governments put in place systematic measures to increase transparency and accountability within local detention systems,’ said KHRP Executive Director Kerim Yıldız. ‘It is imperative that the international community should closely monitor this situation and provide the training, expert advice and other support needed in order to bring about concrete improvements.’