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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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2011 News
KHRP Publishes Report of Diyarbakir ‘Trial of 151’

KHRP today publishes the observations of its Legal Associate and PhD candidate at Kings College, Saniye Karakas who attended the second stage of the trial of 151 NGO workers, politicians and other activists in Diyarbakir, Turkey.

The trial is significant for the individual defendants, who are widely considered to be respected members of the Kurdish community, with each facing possible jail sentences of 15 years-to-life if found guilty. Further, the timing of the arrests has led many observers to question the state of democracy in Turkey. The large number of defendants, their prolonged detention, the questionable means of collecting evidence, as well as the Court’s attitude towards the use of the Kurdish language in the trial have fanned fears that the accusations are politically motivated rather than based on violations of the law. Therefore, the trial is of a wider significance in terms of the implications it raises regarding democracy in Turkey and the state’s attitude towards a political resolution of the Kurdish question.

KHRP’s briefing paper regarding this issue is available to download from the website here.

The Kurdish Conflict: International Humanitarian Law and Post-Conflict Mechanisms, by Kerim Yildiz and Susan Breau.

Reviewed by Michael M. Gunter

London and New York: Routledge, 2010. xxii + 272 pages. Notes to 329. Appendices to 340. Bibliography to 347. Index to 354. $47.95 paper. Published in The Middle East Journal 65 (Winter 2011), pp. 152-54.

            This book is a groundbreaking analysis of the on-going conflict waged by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in southeastern Turkey and its spill over into northern Iraq in terms of the international law of war (jus in bello or international humanitarian law) and the use of force (jus ad bellum). As such, it frames the question within new lights that are particularly appropriate. Apposite too are the two authors. As the executive director of the Kurdish Human Rights Project in London (KHRP), Kerim Yildiz brings a thorough knowledge of Kurdish history and culture with a lengthy experience in the practical application of human-rights law regarding the Kurds within the European community. Over the years the KHRP has argued successfully numerous cases before the European Court of Human Rights involving Turkish violations of ethnic Kurdish rights within Turkey. Susan Breau is a professor of international law at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia with an emphasis on the international law of armed conflict and human rights.

            After a brief discussion of the historical background, their analysis is divided into two parts. Part I concerns the international law of armed conflict as applied to the Kurdish struggle, while Part II delves into some potential legal and political solutions. Upon analyzing the relevant literature and treaties, the opening chapter of Part I concludes “on a factual basis in spite of the denial of Turkey” (p. 58) that the complex conflict in southeast Turkey, which also spills over into northern Iraq, constitutes a non-international armed conflict. Thus, “it can be argued that a whole range of humanitarian guarantees are offered to both civilians and combatants” (p. 88) by such means as the Hague Regulations of 1907 as well as the Geneva Conventions of 1949 with their Common Article 3 that provides limited protections for civilians and members of armed forces hors de combat.

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KHRP Supports the Nobel Peace Prize Candidacy of Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand

KHRP is pleased to support the Nobel Peace Prize candidacy of Mohammad Sedigh Kaboudvand, a Kurdish human rights activist and author of several books on human rights in Iran. Kaboudvand, who is now serving a 10-year prison sentence in Iran for his writings, has actively worked for the recognition of the Kurdish people in Iran, and has been awarded several international human rights and journalism awards.

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The Canadian Broadcasting Company consults KHRP on the challenges lying ahead for the Kurdish regions

The article can be accessed from the following link:

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