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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.

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KHRP Condemns Continued Bombardments in Kurdistan, Iraq
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 17:26

KHRP condemns the recent escalation of Turkish cross-border bombardments in northern Iraq. Sources in the region informed KHRP that at around 9:30pm on Monday 10 May, Howitzer munitions struck the village of Benistan in the Şeladize district of Kurdistan, Iraq, killing Hussein Rekani (27). It is also reported that his wife and two children are among those being treated for their injuries at Amediye State Hospital.

The assault represents the latest of many recent aerial and artillery bombardments since the Turkish military began increasing troop deployments to the border regions in early March. These cross-borders assaults have been launched in tandem with domestic operations, primarily in the Turkish border provinces of Hakkari and Şırnak, part of a recent intensification of Turkish military efforts. Such moves have prompted speculation from some quarters that Turkey is once again planning wide scale ground-incursions into northern Iraq in the coming months.

Since 2007 Turkey as well as Iran, have indiscriminately bombarded parts of northern Iraq. Although the operations are purportedly aimed at defeating armed opposition groups based in the area, neither government appears to be any closer to achieving its stated aims. On the contrary, KHRP’s fact-finding missions and published reports have documented the devastating toll wrought on innocent Iraqi civilians. We have also continued to mount potentially groundbreaking legal challenges against Turkey on behalf of more than 70 affected villagers from Kurdistan Iraq. These cases lodged before the European Court of Human Rights will test the principle of extra-territorial jurisdiction, by arguing that Turkey‘s actions have breached the villagers rights to life and are tantamount to inhuman and degrading treatment.

‘Irrespective of any perceived threats to national security, KHRP strongly condemns such callous assaults by the Turkish military against innocent civilians,’ said KHRP Chief Executive, Kerim Yildiz. ‘As a signatories to various international treaties including the European Convention on Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Geneva Conventions, we would remind Turkey of its obligations to protect human rights, particularly those pertaining to the right to life. Furthermore, we strongly urge Turkey to show reasonable restraint when undertaking operations in close proximity to civilian population centres.’