10th December is Human Rights Day which is celebrated internationally. Today we are celebrating its seventieth anniversary. It was sixty-nine years ago, on 10 December 1948, when the world was just emerging from the aftermath of the Second World War whose horrors claimed so many victims and whose impact affected all peoples.
The people of Kurdistan did not go unaffected by the Second World War, in fact since the First World War Kurdistan had fallen victim to unfolding divisions between four states. In a similar way, after the Second World War, the fulfilment of the Kurds’ rights was not granted legitimacy and so their rights were denied to them. As an example, the destruction of the Kurdistan Republic of Mehabad occurred in the preceding year to the adopting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
That Declaration was overwhelmingly ratified by the United Nations. Later with the expansion of the United Nations the new countries which joined approved its articles. Among these countries are the four occupying states of Kurdistan, which have committed themselves to its principles.
Ever since this Declaration, there has not been a single day in which the occupiers of Kurdistan have not violated these same human rights in the most appalling ways. This is continuing even while the Kurdish people in the four parts of Kurdistan are now putting up exemplary resistance not only to their occupying states but also to ISIS terrorists. Their fight against the latter has ensured the preservation of the values cherished by the international community.
Within the context of this reality, we as the Human Rights Committee of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) convey our salutations on Human Rights Day to the whole of humanity, to all humanitarian, peace-loving peoples, and in particular to those who have committed themselves to the protection and implementation of human rights.
We would like to highlight the violations of human rights by the occupying states of Kurdistan—namely Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria—and submit all those cases of violation before the United Nations and its member states. As we condemn the occupiers, we request the United Nation should deal with them in accordance to the Declaration and demand that they are punished accordingly.
In the last month, parts of Kurdistan were hit by an earthquake. Due to the region’s underdevelopment, the population suffered doubly the impact it should have. It is obvious that both the Iranian and Iraqi governments hold the major responsibility for Kurdistan’s underdevelopment. At the same time, not only did the government fail to provide aid to the victims, but it also blocked the flow of aid from other Kurdish cities.
Persecution and execution, among other forms of human rights violation, are persistently carried out in Iran and the Kurdish people are subjected to grave peril from the fascist Iranian regime.
The AKP government and the racist Turkish state are implementing an anti-Kurdish, non-democratic and inhumane policy before the eyes of the international community. The Turkish state has unleashed its full forces on the civilian population, indulging in waves of arbitrary arrests of political activists, the massacre of people and the physical demolition of cities and towns. The Turkish state has declared a state of emergency in most Kurdish cities, turning them into military garrisons. At the same time, it has covertly established numerous military and intelligence bases in South Kurdistan. Without any restriction, it crosses the international borders, bombing mountains, forests, farmhouses and even the Mexmûr refugee camp, which has accommodated civilians from North Kurdistan whom the Turkish state expelled twenty years ago.
Yet again, as a pretext to bolster the opponents of the Syrian regime, but in reality, to block the development of the Rojavan Revolution, it has deployed its forces inside Rojava and Syria, supporting terrorist groups. From their military bases established there they have inflicted daily bombing of Kurdish villages and towns, killing dozens of civilians. All these acts of aggression stand as the clearest examples of the extreme forms of human rights violations.
As a result of the development and the unwanted changes unfolding in South Kurdistan, half of the Kurdish Region’s territory was lost to the Heshd al-Shabi. It was the outcome of the weakness and irresponsibility of the Kurdish authority in South Kurdistan and the ambiguous politics of the so-called federal Iraq, both of which had committed human rights violations. That is why there have been cases of killings, rape, and other types of brutality against the local people. In particular, in Kirkûk and Xûrmatû our people, including Assyrians, Syriacs, Chaldeans, and Yezidî have been greatly alarmed by what has happened. It is sad that these actions have persisted in our country, targeting our people as well as Kurdistan’s social, political and environmental life.
We in the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK), strongly condemn all cases of human rights violations without exception. We would also remind the signatories of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the need to respect the document that they have all endorsed.
We extend our salutations to the people of Kurdistan who have been resisting for the last century the oppression of the occupying states. Millions of Kurdish people have become victims as a consequence while Kurdistan’s geography has been turned into a battleground of the oppressive domineering states.
Likewise, we extend our salutations to the martyrs as well as those who despite all the hardships and sufferings have continued to work for the sovereignty of humanity.
Our greetings are extended to the secular and humanist world as well as the freedom-loving and liberated peoples.
Our salutations on the anniversary of Human Rights Day
The Human Rights Committee of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK)