IHD: Rights violations in the region increased in 2011

The Human Rights Association (İHD) Diyarbakır branch has presented the Kurdish region rights violations report for the year 2011.

According to the report, 29,366 rights violations have been registered in the region, a substantial increase from the previous year where 23,520 violations had been denounced.

It has been emphasized in the report the increase in gunfights, civilian deaths and arrests compared to previous years as well as a rise of over 100 percent in torture and inhuman treatment.

“Unfortunately 2011 has been a year of intense war instead of a year of peace and solution for the Kurdish issue,” said İHD Diyarbakır Secretary Raci Bilici.

Bilici also noted that the rights violations in 2011 reminded of the 1990s and that the country almost became ‘a concentration camp’ because of the numerous arrests of politicians, journalists, lawyers, academics, students, unionists and human rights advocates.

Bilici stated that torture and inhuman treatment both under custody and on the streets increased greatly and added, “The AKP [Justice and Development Party] and judiciary keep silent about police torture and brutality on the streets but adopt a ruthless attitude towards those who are trying to expose torture and violence.”

The report also underlined the high rate of rights violations in prisons and the indifference of the Ministry of Justice.

Isolation imposed on Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan and the hunger strikes in and outside the prisons to protest Öcalan’s isolation have prompted the human rights association to say that “The policy of isolation must immediately be ended”.

The violations of women’s right to life, the state’s insufficient support to earthquake victims in Van and the issue of mass graves and unsolved murders were also mentioned in the report.

Below a list of main violations:

* 149 members of security forces died, 295 injured in gunfights

* 169 PKK members died, 6 injured in gunfights

* 129 civilians killed, 259 injured in unsolved murders, extrajudicial killings and gunfights

* 6 killed, 49 injured due to landmines and explosives

* 45 killed, 4 injured due to official neglect or mistake

* 1917 people jailed

*6306 people taken into custody

*1555 cases of torture and inhuman treatment

*1421 rights violations in prisons

*932 injured due to police intervention in demonstrations

*4496 asylum seekers and immigrants taken into custody

*4 villages burnt and evacuated

* Claims of 111 mass graves where 1699 people are buried