|KHRP Carries Out First-Ever ECHR Training for Human Rights Defenders in Sirnak|
On 29 September KHRP’s Legal Officer, Catriona Vine travelled to Cizre, a city in the province of Şirnak, south-east Turkey to conduct the first ever ECHR seminar for members of the Şirnak Bar Association.
In common with other provinces within south-east Turkey, the inhabitants of Şirnak province have suffered a vast number of serious human rights violations during the conflict between Kurdish groups and Turkish state forces. Şirnak was one of the first provinces to be declared in a state of emergency in 1987 and remained in that state until 2002. In 1992 the town of Cizre came to the attention of the world with the killing of dozens of civilians during Newroz, the Kurdish New Year celebration. Situated on the Turkish border with Iraq, the region has a huge population of internally displaced persons, the majority of whom now live in the main cities in impoverished conditions and with little access to justice or social assistance. The Şirnak Bar Association invited KHRP to deliver the seminar, entitled “How to Bring a Claim to before the European Court of Human Rights” following the success of a similar seminar in Hakkari in May 2007. It was attended by 33 mostly young lawyers (over half of all of the members of the Bar Association) who participated enthusiastically. It is hoped that KHRP will be able to continue this close relationship with the Şirnak Bar Association and provide further seminars as part of its Training and Litigation Support Programme.