UN Human Rights Council Throws The Gauntlet Down On Turkey For Atrocities Against The Kurds
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has reportedly called Turkey out for heinously violating human rights of civilians and refugees over the past few months.
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According to reports, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, from Jordan, claimed that Turkey has been directly responsible for the deliberate shooting of civilians and destruction of infrastructure.
“While Turkey has a duty to protect its population from acts of violence, it is essential that the authorities respect human rights at all times while undertaking security or counter-terrorism operations.”
Additionally, Zeid noted his extreme displeasure in Erdogan’s silencing the press, to which he said,
“In 2016, to have such a lack of information about what is happening in such a large and geographically accessible area is both extraordinary and deeply worrying. This [media] black-out simply fuels suspicions about what has been going on. I therefore renew my call for access for UN staff and other impartial observers and investigators, including civil society organizations and journalists.”
Gerry Simpson, senior refugee researcher at Human Rights Watch said this about the abhorrent nature of Turkey’s haphazard combat operations on civilians:
“Firing at traumatized men, women, and children fleeing fighting and indiscriminate warfare is truly appalling.”
Turkey is also reportedly under fire for their guards shooting at Syrian refugees along the Turkey-Syria border, leading to the death of at least five asylum seekers in the past eight weeks. Further, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein has reportedly received reports of increasing military activities against Kurds in southeast Turkey, including the enforcement of multiple military curfews of civilians.
Reports state that, in the war against terrorist organization Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Turkish forces have been engaged in clashes in broad daylight, leading to the injuring of thousands, and displacement of many more. Further, activist and organizations also opine that the forces have been targeting Kurdish homes and businesses as well, in a claim strongly refuted by Turkey.
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein asked Turkey’s government to allow investigation into the truth of the reports by independent bodies including United Nations staff. Zeid later claimed that the government
“[H]as not responded positively to requests by my Office and other parts of the United Nations to visit the region to collect information first-hand.”
In response, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgic reportedly said in a statement that the UN human rights chief’s statements were off the mark. He further welcomed Zeid into Turkey, and said that
“[O]ur southeastern Anatolia region can easily be visited by the international organizations operating in the human rights field.”
Erdogan’s media blackout, the utter carnage in Cizre where close to 100 Kurdish civilians were trapped and murdered by Turkish forces and the added pressure that Turkey is coming under heavy scrutiny to cease its attacks on the Kurds doesn’t seem to be enough to reign in the megalomaniac Erdogan as he teeters on the brink of utter fascism that would rival Mussolini.
What should the United Nations next move be against rogue Turkey and its leader, Erdogan?
Sound off in the comments below.