Letter of Şırnak MP Faysal Sarıyıldız to the ECHR

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To the European Court of Human Rights,

In the Cizre District of Şırnak Province, Turkey, a curfew has been declared on Dec. 14th, 2015, under the name “struggle against terrorism”, with the order of the central government and the decision of the Governorate of Şırnak. While the curfew is incongruent to the Constitution of Turkey, national legislation and the international convents to which Turkey is a party, it has resulted in severe violations of civilians’ right to life, health, education, transportation and travel. Government forces have been committing crimes against humanity in Cizre. Throughout the curfews, human rights law has been violated. Almost all mechanisms of a humane law have been denied.

During the blockade carried under the name of curfew, government security forces have used heavy weapons including artilleries in the district center. According to some claims, chemical and combusting weapons have also been used in these attacks. Autopsy reports show that many of the deceased have died by being burned and have lost their physical integrity.

In the curfew that has been going on in Cizre for 64 days now, 129 people have been killed, 80 of which could be identified. Hundreds of people have been wounded with firearms. Citizens wounded with bullets and shrapnel could not be taken to hospitals for days. Citizens wounded in these attacks, who had to take resort in houses and basements of buildings were not allowed to be taken to hospital for “security” reasons. It is publicly known that in the military and police operations to the houses and basements where wounded people had sheltered, dozens of the sheltered people have been executed or burned to death.

While thousands of homes and work places have been destroyed or damaged by the state security forces in Cizre, the urban infrastructure has also become unserviceable. As the attacks have targeted settlements directly, approximately one hundred thousand people have had to leave their homes.

Minister of Interior, Efkan Ala, has declared on Feb 11th, 2016 that the operations have finished but the curfew is to continue. Without any operations, the curfew is continued only to destroy the evidences of state violence. Because of the curfew, the parliamentarians, human rights and civil society organizations are not allowed to enter the town.

We are seriously concerned that evidence showing that the state forces have used chemical and combusting weapons and other important proofs of crime will be destroyed at this stage of the curfew. We thus call on a UN Delegation to urgently visit Cizre before spoliation of evidence. We hope that a reaction by the UN might prevent reoccurrence of such violence.

Best regards,

Faysal Sarıyıldız

Peoples’ Democratic Party Representative of Şırnak Province at The Grand National Assembly of Turkey

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