To the Honorable Representatives of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent,
We are writing this letter in order to briefly provide you with the information regarding the escalation of human rights violations and crimes against humanity suffered by the civilian population during the ongoing curfews carried out under the pretext of anti-terror fight in the Kurdish provinces of Turkey.
The Sur district of Diyarbakır and Cizre and Silopi districts of Şırnak provinces have been under state of siege for over 50 days now. More than 1,5 million people are seriously affected and have suffered violations of their basic rights including to life and access to medical services throughout the ongoing curfews. There are number of reports and documents including the ones prepared by Amnesty İnternational and Human Rights Watch; proving the complete disregard of the state security forces of the safety and life of civilians, gross violations of basic human rights including deprivation of electricity, drinking water and food from inhabitants of the districts. In this context, we would like to draw your attention to the urgency of the situation and the need for immediate international interference.
In the most recent report prepared by the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, more than 198 civilians including 39 children, 29 women and 27 over the age of 60 were killed throughout the ongoing curfews since August 2015. More than 100 thousand people have been forcefully displaced in the district of Cizre with a total population 130 thousand since the most recent ongoing curfew declared on December 14, 2015 70 people just in the district of Cizre last their lives since the implementation of the most recent curfew.
As of today, the situation in Cizre has perhaps reached a state of brutality and atrocity never seen in history. A total of 28 people got wounded as a result of tank strikes and a mortar shell that hit a house in Cudi neighborhood on January 23rd. All remain trapped in the basement of a five-story building since, waiting to be rescued. 7 of these people have so far lost their lives in this basement which is now encircled by military vehicles of the state that are by no means allowing ambulances access the injured and those in need of medical care that remain trapped for one week. We have growing concerns over the aftermath of this wait, which left seven days behind. Healthcare teams are not allowed to reach the wounded despite the fact that those with heavy wounds are in critical condition and facing a threat of an imminent death under very severe conditions in the basement; with those suffering internal bleeding cannot drink water at all, there is no means available to dress the wounds of the injured and the trapped are facing a shortage of food and water for the past three days.
The European Court of Human Rights did previously order an interim measure for the victimized people with wounds, yet Turkish authorities did not implement the decision, which consequently claimed the life of 7 of the injured during the past seven days. Despite repeated calls for provision of the wounded with urgent treatment, ambulances are still being hindered by security forces deployed in the area. The ongoing curfews in Kurdish towns are being implemented in defiance of both domestic law and the Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The urgency of the situation has required us to appeal to you for an urgent ending of this blatant violation of the divine right to life. Help by Red Cross is crucial on this matter of urgency.
The divine right to life also recognized by the international law is being openly violated. Due to the urgency of the situation; it is crucially important and necessary for the Red Cross to interfere in this matter. We kindly request for Red Cross to mediate the process for access to medical services for those severely injured and trapped in a basement in Cizre.
Peoples’ Democratic Party
January 30, 2016