The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Turkey and the Kurds

PRESS RELEASE
For immediate release:

The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Turkey and the Kurds is underway in Paris. The session is examining alleged violations of International Law and International Humanitarian Law by the Turkish Republic and its officials in their relations with the Kurdish People and their organisations.

The Tribunal comes a year after the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights published a report detailing allegations of massive destruction, killings and numerous other serious human rights violations committed between July 2015 and December 2016 in southeast Turkey, during Government security operations that affected more than 30 towns and neighbourhoods and displaced between 355,000 and half a million people, mostly of Kurdish origin.

Turkey denied the United Nations permission to enter in order to carry out an investigation on the ground and has itself failed to conduct any effective investigations into the alleged widespread atrocities.

The Tribunal is organised under the auspices of the Russell Tribunal which was established in Bologna in 1979 to provide an instrument and platform to give recognition, visibility and a voice to the peoples suffering violations of their fundamental rights, victims who, according to the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples, proclaimed in Algiers in 1976, were marginalized in international law, which had increasingly become the guarantor of the interests of the public and private holders of political and economic powers.

As the Turkish State is engaged in an illegal bombardment of Kurds in neighbouring Syria at Afrin, under the pretext of exercising its legitimate security concerns, the matters under interrogation at the Tribunal take on even more urgency.

The hearing is presided over by a panel of jurists and academics including Phillippe Texier, the current President of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal. He is an honorary judge at the Court of Cassation of France and was previously a member of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at the UN.

Tribunals of this type are organised in situations where no official international judicial body has jurisdiction over such violations or where such bodies for some reason are not competent in the specific case, where the national judicial bodies do not offer (sufficient) guarantees of independence and/or impartiality and where impunity is for all these reasons, and of course if the allegations of violations are found to be proven, a real risk.

Such a situation occurs in the case of the allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and massive human rights violations committed by the Turkish republic in its relations with the Kurdish people living on Turkish territory.

The Tribunal will announce its decision approximately 2 months after the session during a meeting held in the European Parliament in Brussels. Members of the European Parliament will be invited to that conference to reflect on the political initiatives that flow from the findings of the Court, in particular on measures to fight impunity.
The Tribunal is being Live Streamed and can be watched here:
http://tribunal-turkey-kurds.org/

For further information contact:  Estella Schmid 0207 5865892

Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Email: estella24@tiscali.co.uk
http://www.peaceinkurdistancampaign.com
Contacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 & Melanie Gingell – Tel: 020 7272 7890
Fax: 020 7263 0596

Patrons: John Austin, Christine Blower, NUT International Secretary, Prof Bill Bowring, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Corbyn MP,  Prof Mary Davis, Lord Dholakia, Simon Dubbins, UNITE International Director,  Jill Evans MEP, Lindsey German, Convenor STWC, Melanie Gingell, Rahila Gupta, Nick Hildyard, Dafydd Iwan, Former President Plaid Cymru, James Kelman, Bruce Kent, Jean Lambert MEP, Elfyn Llwyd, Aonghas MacNeacail, Scottish Gaelic poet, Mike Mansfield QC, Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, GFTU, Dr. Jessica Ayesha Northey, International Coordinator, Green Party of England and Wales;; Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Kate Osamor MP, Margaret Owen OBE, Gareth Peirce, Maxine Peake, Lord Rea, Joe Ryan, Stephen Smellie, Steve Sweeney, Dr Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Dr Tom Wakeford, Dr Derek Wall, Julie Ward MEP, Hywel Williams MP.

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