|Michael Mansfield QC Hosts Dinner at the Law Society to Raise Funds for KHRP’s Strategic Litigation|
Michael Mansfield QC and Kerim Yildiz hosted a fundraising dinner at the Law Society on 19 November to celebrate KHRP’s 15th anniversary and to raise financial support for groundbreaking casework before the European Court of Human Rights.
The evening began with a speech by KHRP Honorary President Lord Eric Avebury about the history of the organisation and his own experiences of the difficulty of undertaking human rights work in relation to Turkey, having himself been banned from the country for criticising the practices of the authorities.
Michael Mansfield QC afterwards spoke about the importance of ensuring accountability and the rule of law, and highlighted the power of civil society organisations to overcome prejudice and heal social divisions. A speech by KHRP Chairman Mark Muller QC focused on his experiences of working with the organisation since its inception in the early 1990s and his gratitude for the moral support and practical assistance it had received from many high-profile figures present on the night.
In addition, Lord Avebury presented Zeynep İnan Çam with a certificate in recognition of her completion of the Sigrid Rausing International Fellowship Programme at the KHRP. The Fellowship offers selected women advocates from the Kurdish regions an opportunity to work with KHRP’s experienced pro bono Legal Team, providing for an exchange of legal and professional expertise and skills in order to bring about lasting change in the human rights climate on the ground.
‘It is a real honour that we continue to enjoy such proactive and enduring backing from people whose reputation and influence can help to bring about real changes in the human rights situation in the Kurdish regions,’ said KHRP Executive Director Kerim Yildiz. ‘Without them, KHRP would not be what it is and the extraordinary progress that has been achieved through our litigation, advocacy and public awareness work over the past 15 years would not have been possible. We are immensely grateful for everything that they have done.’
The focus of the evening was KHRP’s strategic litigation on behalf of 76 applicants before the European Court of Human Rights who were injured, lost property or family members or otherwise suffered as a direct result of recent Turkish military activities in northern Iraq. This work represents a significant increase in the organisation’s usual caseload. Besides seeking justice on behalf of the individuals involved, it will also help to raise awareness of the human rights impact of Turkish cross-border operations and stands to set ground-breaking precedents with regard to the jurisdiction of the European Convention of Human Rights.
Tonight, Lord Avebury will host the launch of Kurds: Through the Photographer’s Lens, a unique book of photographs, poetry and writing commissioned by the Delfina Foundation to mark 15 years of the KHRP. Some tickets are still available for the event, which will take place at London’s stylish SW1 Gallery, off Victoria Street, from 7.30pm until 11pm. For more information, please contact KHRP using the details on the left-hand side of this page.