Kurds protest European silence on Turkey's mass murder

February 26, 2016

Kurdish women staged a sit-in in Strasbourg against the silence of European institutions over Turkey's crime

A coalition of pro-Kurdish European groups held a five day sit-in in front of European institutions in Strasbourg in eastern France, starting on February 23, to protest Europe's silence on the Turkish government's ongoing massacre of Kurds. The action targeted the European Court of Human Rights.

Activists say the court should be doing more to hold the Turkish government to account for killing at least 155 civilians in early February in the Kurdish town of Cizre. Turkey is a member of the European Council and is seeking to join the European Union, which ostensibly requires members to uphold human rights.

“Everyone of us has a part in the massacre,” said Faysal Sarıyıldız, a Turkish politician with the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP). “European states are also responsible for this massacre because they remained silent on it.”

Lawyers from the Diyarbakır Bar Association in Turkey filed applications with the European Court for Human Rights demanding the lifting of a curfew in Cizre, a Kurdish-majority city in Turkey's southeast. They also asked the court to support the opening of a human corridor to evacuate activists trapped in a basement in Cizre and provide medical attention to the wounded.

The court refused to consider the application until all legal avenues were exhausted in Turkey. However, once Turkey's highest court rejected a request for medical treatment, the court still refused to consider the application.

Lawyers have also launched an international campaign on February 24 addressed to the European Commission for the Prevention of Torture to condemn Turkey for its isolation of jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan. The lawyers consider this a form of torture and a threat to peace.

[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]

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