|KHRP-EFA Seminar at European Parliament on Impact of Cross-Border Operations in Northern Iraq|
On 27 January 2010, KHRP and the Greens–European Free Alliance (EFA) party co-organised a seminar at the European Parliament in Brussels on the Environmental and Humanitarian Impact of Cross-Border Military Operations in Northern Iraq. The seminar served as an important opportunity to discuss the civilian and environmental impact of the frequent shelling and bombing of targets by Turkish and Iranian armed forces, as well as the international response and relevant legal obligations of the parties concerned. Attendees included representatives from the European Commission’s Directorate-General on External Relations and from European Parliament Delegations.
Green Party MEP Jean Lambert, long-time human rights activist and KHRP Advisor on Environmental Rights, opened the seminar by outlining the relevance of the situation to European Institutions. KHRP Chief Executive Kerim Yildiz followed by providing background information on the bombardments and then proceeded to describe the environmental and humanitarian tolls of the attacks, before outlining the particular legal obligations which Turkey and Iran have violated in carrying out such actions. Following his talk, Kerim answered a series of questions from an assortment of journalists, researchers and officials on such issues as extra-territorial jurisdiction, relations between the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and the central authorities, and the nature of ordinances used in the bombardments. The seminar is the first of four planned for this year, which will cover issues of human rights concern to the EU.
Further details of the seminar will be published in the next issue of KHRP’s quarterly Newsline (no.50), which will be available from the KHRP website in Spring 2010.