Friday, January 22, 2016

Amnesty International Blasts Erdogan's Collective Punishment of Kurds

Amnesty International Blasts Erdogan’s Collective Punishment of Kurds

by Stephen Lendman

On January 21, AI called for “end(ing) abusive operations under indefinite curfews” in Kurdish eastern and southeastern communities.

War without mercy raged since last summer. Arbitrary round-the-clock curfews imposed for over a month and other abusive practices “left residents without access to emergency health care, food, water and electricity for extended periods.”

Turkish forces target residential neighborhoods. Deaths and injuries mount, civilians mostly affected, indiscriminately killed and injured.

Hundreds of thousands of Kurds are at risk. “According to the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, curfews have been imposed on at least 58 occasions in at least 19 different towns and districts across seven provinces of east and south-east Turkey since they were first introduced in August last year.” 

“Curfews are currently in force in three locations where it is estimated 200,000 residents are at risk.”

Turkish authorities lied, claiming they’re imposed to capture PKK fighters, as well as protect security for area residents and their property - citing provincial administration law.

AI explained extreme hardships Kurds face, living in harm’s way, with limited or at times no access to food, clean water, medical care and electricity.

Violating imposed curfews risks death by sniper fire or heavy weapons. Turkish operations are being conducted to extrajudicially kill, not arrest Kurdish fighters.

AI said evidence shows “security forces have been reckless in their use of firearms, using heavy weapons in built up areas,” threatening entire communities.

Lawless sniper fire killed women, children and the elderly. No accountability exists. Principle 9 of the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials states:

“Law enforcement officials shall not use firearms against persons except in self-defence or defence of others against the imminent threat of death or serious injury, to prevent the perpetration of a particularly serious crime involving grave threat to life, to arrest a person presenting such a danger and resisting their authority, or to prevent his or her escape, and only when less extreme means are insufficient to achieve these objectives.” 

“In any event, intentional lethal use of firearms may only be made when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life.”

Turkish forces are using “lethal force excessively and recklessly,” said AI. They’re denying international bar association and human rights organizations’ representatives access to areas under curfew.

Regime officials call justifiable criticism “terrorism.” Any form of dissent risks prosecution imprisonment or death by targeted assassination.

The international community turns a blind eye to regime high crimes. Since Turkey declared war on its Kurdish population in the mid-1980s, tens of thousands died, mainly civilians.

State-sponsored genocide continues. Turkey is fascist police state, Erdogan an international criminal, actively supporting ISIS and other terrorist groups, guilty of high crimes against peace internally and abroad.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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