|Peace remains illusory for Kurds|
On International Peace Day, the Kurdish Human Rights Project calls for recognition of, and an international commitment to, the basic human rights of all people living in the Kurdish regions. Every person has the right to live in security, without fear of persecution, torture, death or other punishment. However today, Kurds face systematic and serious assaults on their fundamental human rights on a daily basis with governments of the Kurdish regions and denying them peace in their multi-ethnic nation-states: Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey. Regimes to which Kurds are subject have sought to counter perceived threats to their territorial integrity by forcibly destroying Kurdish identity. This is in addition to horrific violence carried out by armed opposition groups, bent on perpetuating the cycle of violence.
In Turkey - A bomb detonated in Diyarbakir by ultranationalists targeting civilians in retaliation for bomb blasts claimed by an armed Kurdish separatist movement. This has resulted in a security crackdown including limited freedom of movement and unlimited search privileges for the region’s police force. In addition, 405 military officers accused of responsibility for the rape and torture of a young woman were acquitted, despite overwhelming evidence of guilt;
In Iraq – A state of emergency has been declared in Kirkuk after a wave of bombings in which 26 were killed; the violence plaguing the rest of the country threatens to engulf the Kurdish north.
In Iran - Human Rights Defenders are being harassed, threatened with arbitrary detention, and are suffering torture and inhuman treatment;
In Syria - Thousands of Kurds cannot vote or own property They are being denied access even basic rights, such as healthcare and housing.
In the past week the international community has ignored the following responsibilities:
It has made no visible move to support the path to peace in the Kurdish regions and counter moves towards violence and continued repression.
It has not insisted, nor used available incentives to persuade, repressive governments to fully adhere to internationally agreed upon standards of human rights.
Nor has it supported all states’ efforts to redress past wrongs and unequivocally speak out against violence wherever it originates.
By failing to recognise the link between violations wrought against Kurds in all regions and the overarching problem of the failure of states’ to comply with international human rights norms and legislation, the international community is refusing to fully appreciate the wider context and origins of the conflict. Instead it consistently reacts with a myopic view, treating each incident, or each country, as an isolated event and separate from each other. Today, KHRP calls on the international community to take a real stand for peace by addressing the roots and scope of this conflict.
As part of humanity, we are duty-bound to fulfil our obligations to these oft-neglected people by applying pressure and naming the violations and their causes. Peace comes through active dialogue, not passive response. On this international day of peace, join KHRP in renewing your commitment to peace in the Kurdish regions.
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