Herewith an Open letter from the civil society concerning the situation in Rojava (Syria) that was just sent to UN Secretary-General, the UN High-Commissioner for Refugees and the UN High-Commissioner for Human Rights.
Open letter to
UN Secretray General
UN High Commissioner for Refugees
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
The recent declarations of the President of Turkey and of the United States about an imminent military aggression in the North-East of Syria are extremely alarming.
Such an action not only will contravene international law and will be illegal, but the most worrying aspect is that it will certainly lead to more war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Considering President Erdogan’s constant repressive attitude towards the Kurdish people, there is reason to fear that an ethnic cleansing is being prepared on the Turkish-Syrian border. But this time, no one will be in a position to say “I didn’t know”.
Bearing in mind the past complicity of the Turkish State with the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), it cannot be ignored either that the 70,000 prisoners held by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) will be able to regain their freedom and resume their terrorist activities in the region (by means of genocide, feminicide and ethnocide, not only of the Kurds but also Syria-Assyrian people and other ethnic and religious groups indigenous to the region) and elsewhere in the world.
The international community failure to prevent such military action raises the question of its complicity in the crimes that will be committed.
The responsibility of the institutions you head is paramount both to the Kurdish population of Rojava, who have sacrificed more than 10,000 lives in the fight against global terrorism, and to the thousands of refugees in the region targeted by President Erdogan.
The undersigned organizations and personalities call upon you, Excellencies, to take a public position calling on President Erdogan to renounce any military action in the Rojava region which will lead to the deepening of the current humanitarian crisis and to the resurgence of ISIS activities.
9th October 2019
Mr. CHETERIAN Vicken, author and lecturer at Geneva University – Switzerland
Mr. DE ZAYAS Alfred, Former UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order
Ms. FEHLMANN-RIELLE Laurence, Member of the Swiss Parliament
Mr. GALAND Pierre, Belgian senator – President of the Belgian Association for the UN
Ms. KIENER NELLEN Margret, Member of the Swiss Parliament
Ms. MAZZONE Lisa, Member of the Swiss Parliament
Ms. PORTIOLI Eugenia, Geneva University – Switzerland
MS. RAMOS Vanessa, Presidenta de Asociación Americana de Juristas
Mr. SOMMARUGA Carlo, Member of the Swiss Parliament
Prof. ZIEGLER Jean, Former Vice-Chair UN Human Rights Council’s Advisory Committee and Former UN Special Rapporteur on Right to Food
Prof. ZIEGLER-DEUBLER Erika, Historian
Alliance for Minority Rights
Asociación Americana de Juristas (AAJ)*
Association des juristes progressistes – Geneva (Switzerland)
Centre Zagros pour les Droits de l’Homme – Geneva (Switzerland)
Euskal Herria Bildu (Basque political coalition)
Fondation Franz Fanon – Paris (France)
France-Libertés – Fondation Danielle Mitterrand*
Fundación Latinoamericana por los Derechos Humanos y el Desarrollo Social*
Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
Housing and Land Rights Network – Habitat International Coalition*
Indian Movement “Tupaj Amaru”*
International Association of Democratic Lawyers*
International Educational Development, Inc.*
International Society for Human Rights*
Italian Association of Democratic Lawyers
Kurdish Centre for Human Rights
Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights Association*
Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l’amitié entre les peuples (MRAP)*
Projet démocratique du Kurdistan iranien
Spanish Society for International Human Rights Law*
Socialdemocratic Party of Switzerland
Solidarité Internationale pour la Paix
SolidaritéS Genève (political party)
Sortu (Basque political party)
Note: * NGOs enjoying UN ECOSOC status
Contacts: Gianfranco Fattorini, Main Representative at UNOG, American Association of Jurists (AAJ) +41793265102 & M. Ilkhan – Kurdish Center for Human Rights — +41766937712