Turkish State Terror Against Civilians Escalated Over the Past 9 Months

The state terror in North Kurdistan has left 63 civilians dead in 9 months. 3,564 people, including 293 children, have been detained and among them 788, including 41 children, have been remanded in custody during this process.

October 16, 2015
AMED – ANF

The state terror in North Kurdistan has left 63 civilians dead in 9 months, according to a report by IHD (Human Rights Association) Amed branch. 3,564 people, including 293 children, have been detained and among them 788, including 41 children, have been remanded in custody during this process.

Human Rights Association (IHD) Amed branch has prepared a report regarding right violations committed in the territory of North Kurdistan in the first 9 months of 2015.

‘THE STATE COMMITTED A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY’

The report emphasized that serious crimes against humanity were committed and all laws on human rights and armed conflicts were systematically violated as military operations continued uninterruptedly in the region during this process.

The terrifying crimes against humanity included the exposure of YJA Star guerrilla Kevser Eltürk’s (Ekin Wan) naked dead body, torture of Hacı Lokman Birlik whose dead body was dragged in streets behind a police vehicle after his execution by state forces in Şırnak, violation of the right to life against civilians and mainly children in the areas where a curfew was imposed, denial of burial for civilians whose dead bodies were held in fridges in houses for days.

IHD highlighted the bombardments by Turkish jets against cemeteries of PKK militants, mentioning it as an unprecedented case never witnessed in any conflict environment around the world. The report also mentioned destruction of the nature and burning down of forested areas during operations by the Turkish army.

‘NEIGHBORHOODS WERE ATTACKED WITH TANKS’

The report by IHD also pointed to the violation of civilians’ right to life during the operational activities by security forces in civilian areas, remarking that a number of civilians lost their lives as a result of deliberate ad arbitrary use of gunfire by security forces during the operations that were conducted in the wake of curfews, in which even tanks were used and conducted artillery fire.

IHD informed that 63 civilians lost their lives and 93 others were wounded as a result of unlawful and arbitrary practices in Kurdistan during the course of nine months. Hundreds of houses and workplaces were destroyed, access to treatment was denied and the right to communication was violated.

‘BALANCE SHEET OF POLITICAL GENOCIDE’

According to the report, security forces made disproportionate intervention against 74 public demonstrations in the first 9 months of 2015, which left 88 civilians injured.

Turkish forces also conducted 1975 house raids, mainly at the break of dawn, during which the people in the targeted houses were pointed a gun at, battered, tortured and subjected to ill-treatment.

During mainly house raids and public demonstrations, 3,564 people, including 293 children, were detained, and among them 788, including 41 children, were remanded in custody. The detainees were subjected to inhuman treatment during detention, including sexual abuse and trample of human dignity. 86 people suffered torture while under custody and 87 others were subjected to torture by security forces during house raids or out in the streets.

‘ISOLATION HINDERS ÖCALAN FROM CONTRIBUTING TO PEACE’

Also highlighting the ongoing isolation of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan, right violations against prisoners, detainees, women, children and freedom of the press, IHD report said a total of 721 prisoners, including 282 in severe condition, were deprived of the right to health and fairly left to their fate in prison. IHD said cases of exile, isolation, torture, ill-treatment and violation of the right to communication continued uninterruptedly.

Pointing out that the isolation imposed on PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan for 16 years now didn’t comply with any law, IHD said the ongoing isolation constituted a violation of Öcalan’s individual and human rights, and was a political attitude that ignored his role as a main actor to contribute to the achievement of a probable social peace.

’45 WOMEN LOST THEIR LIVES, 13 SEXUALLY ABUSED’

Indicating an increasing rate in the cases of domestic and social violence against women and children, IHD said 45 women lost their lives, 15 were wounded and 13 others were sexually abused over the first nine months of the year.

During the same period, 23 children lost their lives, 7 were wounded as a result of violence and 8 others were sexually abused. IHD attributed the mentioned cases to the lack of constructive social policies.

‘TERRIFYING PRESSURE AND CENSORSHIP IMPOSED ON THE PRESS’

Stressing that pressures against the press went beyond those witnessed during the 90’s, IHD report highlighted a terrifying repression and censorship against the freedom of press, which included detentions and arrests against opponent press members that didn’t conform with the view of the political ruling, probe, lawsuit, dismissal, hindrance of access to the websites of news agencies, torture and ill-treatment and creation of difficulties in the covering of news. Describing the censorship on press as a violation of the people’s freedom of information, IHD said this was also an attempt to silence the opponent circles.

‘766 PEOPLE INVESTIGATED DUE TO POLITICAL REASONS’

Pointing to the ongoing violations of the freedom of thought, expression and organization, IHD said 766 people were subjected to an investigation for political reasons during the first nine months of the year, among whom 357 were given unlawful penalties. With regards to violations of economic and social rights, IHD said 534 people were dismissed from job, 15 were subjected to administrative investigations, 26 were exiled and 13 were suspended from duty during this period.

‘ELECTED ADMINISTRATORS IN PRISONS MUST BE RELEASED IMMEDIATELY’

IHD also highlighted the arrest and suspension from post of 17 co-mayors of DBP-held municipalities and dozens of municipal council members during the past two months, and described the situation as a shame for law and democracy, and a restriction of freedoms and democratic politics.

“The countries where suicide bombers do not constitute a reason for arrest and mayors joining human shield actions commit constitutional crimes are autocratic regimes where rights are not executed. We demand an immediate end to this unlawful practice and release of the administrators elected by the people”, IHD said.

AKP’s War on Kurds: Six Kurdish Co-Mayors Suspended

The Co-mayors of Hakkari’s Yüksekova district, Ruken Yetişkin and Tacettin Safalı, as well as Municipal Council member Nazife Evin have been suspended from their positions by the Interior Ministry.

The suspension came in the wake of an investigation launched against the three in accordance with an instruction sent by the Interior Ministry to the General Directorate of Local Administrations. The reason for the suspension has been cited as ‘participation in the declaration of self-rule at a press conference on August 13’.

Co-mayors of Batman province, Sabri Özdemir and already jailed Gülistan Akel, as well as 17 members of the municipal council were also suspended yesterday evening.

The suspension of the Batman co-mayors has also been conducted in accordance with an instruction sent by the Interior Ministry to the General Directorate of Local Administrations. According to the procedures, the Governor of Batman will enable the gathering of the remaining members of the city council and election of provisional deputy mayors.

As part of the same political operation against elected local administrators in the Kurdish region, co-mayor of Iğdır’s Tuzluca district, Mehmet Gültekin, and mayor of Hoşhaber town, Ali Çam, have also been suspended in accordance with an instruction form the Interior Ministry.

Gültekin and Çam were detained two days ago because of participation in a human shield action, and remanded in custody on alleged grounds of “membership to an armed organisation”.

The suspensions leave AKP municipal council representatives in the majority in the towns and cities in question.