Amnesty International urges Obama to pressure Turkey to stop slaughter of Kurds

Riot police use a water cannon to disperse Kurdish demonstrators during a protest against the curfew in Sur district, in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey. © Sertac Kayar/Reuters

Published by ARA News 31 March 2016

ERBIL – Amnesty International called on the US President Barack Obama to urge Turkey to end the onslaught against Kurds, and the continued repressive security operations in east and southeast Turkey with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who arrived in United States this week.

“The Turkish government’s onslaught on primarily Kurdish towns and neighborhoods, which includes round-the-clock curfews and cuts to services, is putting the lives of up to 200,000 people at risk,” Amnesty International said. “Water and electricity services have been cut in some areas, and Amnesty International has received reports of security forces barring ambulances from reaching hospitals,” the international human rights organization added.

The curfews have been imposed since July 2015, when the peace process between the government and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) broke down.

“While the [US] president plays host to these leaders, he must seize the opportunity to press upon them to uphold human rights in their own countries,” said T. Kumar, Amnesty International USA’s advocacy director for Europe. “So far Turkey has faced very little global criticism on this issue, as the international community has focused more on enlisting Turkey’s help in the refugee crisis. While that remains a critical issue, these continued human rights violations cannot be overshadowed.”

Turkish authorities have prevented independent observers such as human rights organizations from entering areas under curfew, making it difficult to form an accurate picture of what is going on, according to Amnesty. Peoples peaking out against Turkey’s abuses have been subjected to threats, criminal investigation and other forms of harassment by the Erdogan government.

The US branch of Amnesty International USA will hold a protest outside of the Brookings Institution when President Erdogan speaks there on March 31.

Source: ARA News