Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein / credit: UN Photo Jean-Marc Ferre

14/09/2016 - 15:46 0
UN Human Rights Chief Shames Turkey for Blocking Human Rights Investigation

The United Nations 33rd Human Rights Council Sessions started in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday.

In the opening session UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein criticised Turkey for preventing access to the country's southeast and demanded entry be allowed for an inquiry into rights violations of the past year.

“Cities and villages burned down”

In his speech the Commissioner said that they were in possession of data showing serious human rights violations in Kurdish cities.

“We are receiving reports and data that international law and human rights are constantly violated. Among these are civilian deaths, extrajudicial killings and forced displacement on a huge scale. We receive reports that cities and villages are being torn down. The basic needs of thousands of displaced people must be met and protected.”

“Special unit formed”

Al Hussein stated that an official request to investigate the claims was left unanswered by the Turkish government and that a special unit had been formed in Geneva to follow up on the situation. The Commissioner said Turkey had sent him a personal invitation, but that this invitation “wasn't a replacement for the Human Rights Commissary visiting the South East and conducting an inquiry”.

Sessions will continue until September 30 and will discuss rights violations from different parts of the world.

It is expected that human rights violations in Turkey and Syria will be at the top of the agenda during sessions. More than 300 Kurdish civilians were killed by state forces during dozens of curfews declared in several cities and towns.

Source: UN