The UCL participated in the European delegation to observe Turkish war crimes in Iraqi Kurdistan.
This delegation takes place when Erdogan is received at the NATO summit. His formal meeting with Macron does not hide his objective, which is obviously to legitimize his illegal invasion of Iraq, and to obtain a blank check from NATO to continue his military campaign. Its pretext: to eradicate the PKK, a “ terrorist organization ”, according to the Council of Europe’s blacklist.
His strategy: to intimidate European nations, to maintain bombings, military pressure and destruction of crops in Iraqi Kurdistan, to force Mahmoud Barzani’s PDK to collaborate openly with him, against his brothers and sisters in Kurdistan.
At the time of publication of this information, the delegation’s conference was prevented by the PDK, the hotel where it is being held is surrounded by the military, and our comrades were sent back to France after questioning by the police. of the PDK, traitor to the Kurdish cause.
We, as a delegation from all over Europe, came to Kurdistan for peace and freedom. Politicians, academics, human rights activists, environmentalists and feminists, trade unionists, journalists from over 10 countries wanted to get a first-hand impression of the situation and mobilize to end war and destruction. With 150 people, we wanted to establish a dialogue with members of parliament, from all political parties and to visit NGOs in order to help build a dialogue between the various Kurdish political actors.
The invasion of the Turkish army which breaks international laws is unacceptable. However, we are sad to note that the international community remains impassive in the face of it, and does not ensure respect for international law and human rights.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) prevented the delegation from establishing a dialogue with political actors in Southern Kurdistan. The organizations we wanted to visit were intimidated into giving up the appointments already scheduled. A large part of the delegation was unable to arrive in Kurdistan. 14 people have been or are about to be deported so far. At least 27 people were detained at Düsseldorf Airport in Germany and banned from departing.
We are outraged by the illegal deportations of our foreign friends, on the orders of the Kurdistan Regional Government, and by the travel bans on the grounds that these people “appeared to be politicized”, without a clear legal basis. Freedom of the press and the engagement of civil society are essential elements of any democratic system and should not be suppressed under any circumstances.
In order to promote peace, we spared no efforts and were welcomed in Southern Kurdistan. We were able to visit cultural, religious and historical places and were invited to converse with Baba Sheikh, the highest religious representative of the Yazidi community. In the Yazidi refugee camp of Sharya, which suffered a large fire a week ago, we spoke to people who are particularly affected by the war, displacement and destruction.
The friendship and hospitality we have experienced from the people living here warm our hearts, and further encourage us to pursue our goal. We are here in solidarity with the Kurdish people and with all ethnic and religious groups in Kurdistan.
We are internationalists, and do not represent any Kurdish party or specific political movement. We oppose the colonization of Kurdistan by third states. We are not here to oppose any Kurdish party. On the contrary, we want to support a dialogue between all the different opinions. This is not a Kurdish problem, but an aggression by the Turkish state and the Turkish army against the local population and the nature of the Kurdish regions.
Stirring up a dispute, even an armed conflict, between Kurds constitutes a trap and a danger for the peace and the future of the whole of the Middle East. We strongly wish to warn all Kurds about this and call for the establishment and continuation of dialogue. A political solution must be found and it is necessary to remain united against external threats.
Therefore, our requests are as follows:
Anyone who wanted to join the delegation and was prevented from boarding, arrested or deported at any of the airports must be released and allowed to join us.
All Kurdish political actors must resume dialogue with each other.
We call on all international organizations and political institutions to support a peaceful solution. The Turkish state army must immediately withdraw from the entire region.
The Kurds have the mountains, but today they also have friends. All the friends of the Kurds are called upon to mobilize, to spread the message and to contribute at their level to the peace process.
International delegation for peace and freedom in Kurdistan
Erbil, Southern Kurdistan, June 13, 2021
Text to read also on Rojinfo.com