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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 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.”