Skip to content

KHRP | Kurdish Human Rights Project

narrow screen resolution wide screen resolution Increase font size Decrease font size Default font size default color brown color green color red color blue color

Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

You are here: 
Skip to content

Charity Awards

Charity Awards

Gruber Prize


Gruber Justice Prize

2010 News
KHRP Underlines Grave Concerns about Iran’s Impending Executions of Kurdish Political Prisoners
Monday, 05 July 2010 16:18

KHRP has today written to the UN to call on them to urge Iran to stop the impending executions of Ms Zeyneb Jalalyian and fifteen other political prisoners convicted of ‘mobarabeh’ (‘enmity against God’).

KHRP had already expressed its concerns at the detention, treatment, trial and imminently feared execution of several Kurdish political prisoners, including Ms Jalalyian, in May. She is one of many activists who KHRP believes has been targeted by the Iranian Authorities because of her Kurdish ethnicity and suspected political activism. She was arrested in 2008 after reportedly writing and creating posters for the Kurdish nationalist group, the Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK), with whom she was alleged to have ties. Ms. Jalalyian was held incommunicado in a Ministry of Detention facility for eight months before being sentenced to death by the Kermanshah Revolutionary Court. During her brief trial — said to last only a few minutes — she was barred from access to her lawyer and was told to  ‘shut up’ by the sentencing judge after making a plea to say goodbye to her family.

The latest cases continue after five Kurdish activists — four men, Ferzad Kemanger, Eli Heyderiyan, Ferhad Wekili and Mehdi Eslamian, and a woman, Şîrîn Elemhulî — were executed at Evin prison in Tehran on Sunday 9 May. The execution of Mr Kermanger came despite urgent action appeals sent by KHRP to various UN Special Rapporteurs in December 2008, and again in July 2009.

“KHRP opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and remains gravely concerned about Iran’s appalling record of executing Kurdish prisoners”, said KHRP Chief Executive Kerim Yildiz. “KHRP urgently calls on the UN to intervene on behalf of Ms. Jalalyian and others on death row, and for the Iranian authorities to conduct an independent investigation into the defendants’ access to legal counsel and their ability to have a ‘fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal’ as guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a signatory.”


** New Employment Opportunity at KHRP **
Friday, 02 July 2010 11:36

The Kurdish Human Rights Project is pleased to announce a new vacancy for a Legal Officer/Legal Director (MATERNITY COVER – one year contract beginning mid-October).
This role offers a fantastic opportunity to contribute to the work of KHRP in making full use of international mechanisms to protect the human rights of people living in the Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and elsewhere. KHRP is a registered charity founded in London in 1992, which works with a number of partner organisations in the regions. KHRP pioneered the practice of bringing individual petitions before the European Court of Human Rights and functions as a catalyst for justice through its analysis, advocacy and action.

The responsibilities of the successful candidate for the Legal Officer/Legal Director position will include conducting European Convention cases, directing the work of the KHRP legal team and co-ordinating with partners in the region, attending European Court hearings in Strasbourg and making recommendations on KHRP legal strategy. The role will also involve making full use of other international human rights mechanisms, including the ILO, OSCE, UN, European Social Charter and ECJ. Other responsibilities will include participating in the planning of trial observations and fact-finding missions, as well as taking the lead in preparing training programmes in the region.

A full job description, person specification and an application form is available here.

Please note that interviews are to begin 22 July 2010.

KHRP Publishes Latest Issue of Legal Review
Tuesday, 29 June 2010 16:39

KHRP is pleased to announce the publication of the latest issue of Legal Review, our bi-annual legal journal. Legal Review is essential reading for anyone interested in legal developments in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and the Caucuses and is the only existing legal journal covering significant legislative and policy developments in the Kurdish regions.

Legal Review 17 covers the period from January to June 2010 and features news and updates relevant to the Kurdish regions, as well as summaries and analysis of relevant decisions of international, UK and US Courts. Articles in this edition cover the impact of the Turkish Anti-Terror Provisions on the obligations of state signatories under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the development of the concept of positive obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights as one of the most important factors of its interpretation, an analysis of the current reservations of 42 State parties to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and the reasons for improving witness protection for victims of torture and related international crimes.

The latest issue of Legal Review may be downloaded for free from the KHRP website (alongside an archive of back-issues), or may be purchased in print for £10 + P&P from the KHRP shop.

KHRP Alarmed to Hear Reports of Village Destruction in Ilısu Region
Friday, 25 June 2010 17:12

KHRP is alarmed to hear reports from its local partners that two villages in the Hasankeyf district, the site of the controversial Ilısu Dam project, were yesterday set alight by the Turkish army.

Both the villages of Keçeli (Bizinka) and Palamutlu (Xerbekar) –- villages previously destroyed by the Turkish military in the 1990’s and which stand to be flooded by the Ilısu Dam reservoir if construction of the hydro-electric dam goes ahead — were burned. Pictures taken from the north side of the Tigris River show the devastation caused to the villages which although no longer continuously inhabited, are sources of livelihood for local farmers and herders.

Today, the villages were visited by representatives of KHRP’s partner organisations, İnsan Hakları Derneği (the Human Rights Association of Turkey, İHD), Göc-Der, and Mazlum-Der. According to reports from local villagers, Turkish soldiers halted their attempts to extinguish the fire leaving it to rage on without intervention from the local fire station.

As long-highlighted by KHRP and its international partners in the Ilısu dam campaign, the planned project does not take into consideration the requisite human rights considerations which include environmental rights of the people living in this region. Approximately 55,000 people, mostly Kurds are threatened with displacement.  The dam will also flood the ancient town of Hasankeyf and destroy unexplored archaeological sites, devastate the environment upstream and downstream and with it the Tigris River’s richly diverse ecosystems, and has the potential to exacerbate conflict in the region by severely reducing water flow to the downstream states of Iraq and Syria. Despite the success of KHRP and its partners in successively halting the project, recent reports indicate that full-scale construction of the Ilısu Dam has continued in earnest in recent months.

‘This latest development rings alarm bells for a number of reasons’, said KHRP Chief Executive Kerim Yildiz, ‘not least of which is the fear that Turkey, in its bid to see the Ilısu Dam project through, is ready to flout basic human rights and resort to its past extreme and deplorable tactics of village burning, so heavily employed at the height of the armed conflict in the 1990s.’

KHRP Marks International Day for Victims of Torture
Friday, 25 June 2010 17:11

Tomorrow, KHRP will join countless others worldwide in recognising the United Nation’s International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

Since its establishment in 1992, KHRP has fought for redress for victims of torture before international courts and mechanisms. Alongside, it continues to lead regional capacity-building workshops so that local human rights defenders may do likewise, and publishes the findings of regular field missions — such as in its report entitled, ‘The Death of Engin Çeber: Prosecuting Torture and Ill-Treatment Within the Turkish Detention System’— to highlight its still endemic use.

Just this month, KHRP was honoured at the prestigious UK Charity Awards. By urging the Charity Commission to accept that its ‘procurement of the abolition of torture by all lawful means’ is a legitimate charitable objective, KHRP paved the way for UK charities to bring justice to countless torture survivors in the Kurdish regions and globally. Amongst other successes, the precedent set in KHRP’s case of Aydin v Turkey before the European Court of Human Rights, established that rape, when used in times of conflict, is recognised across all member states of the Council of Europe as a form of torture. Meanwhile, successive verdicts won in KHRP’s more recent cases at the Court have brought to light the Armenian Republic’s culpability in subjecting members of the political opposition to inhuman and degrading treatment in detention. KHRP also continues its advocacy before UN bodies on behalf of those who have been or are at risk of torture in Syria, Iran, and Iraq, with human rights defenders, political and social activists, trade unionists, journalists and members of ethnic or religious minority groups particularly vulnerable to abuse.

“No act of torture may be justified, and it is a sad fact that its practice not only remains commonplace throughout the Kurdish regions, but is indeed continually justified on grounds of ‘national security’ or ‘counterterrorism’,” said KHRP Chief Executive Kerim Yildiz. “The recent verdict delivered by the Turkish judiciary which convicted 19 members of the police and prison services for their complicity in the torture and beating to death of a young political activist, Engin Çeber, in 2008, should send out a very clear message that authorities who collude in or are complicit in such acts, will be brought to justice.”

<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 5 of 14