Category Archives: English

Amnesty International: Urgent Action; Kurdish Juvenile offender Amanj Veisee has been sentenced to death for the second time, after a retrial

2e0c4-amnesty-internationalURGENT ACTION
 JUVENILE OFFENDER SENTENCED TO DEATH AGAIN
Juvenile offender Amanj Veisee has been sentenced to death for the second time, after a retrial. The court dismissed as “non-binding” an official forensic report which had concluded that he had not attained “mental growth and maturity” at the time of the crime, in April 2007, when he was 15 years old.

Iran_Kurdistan_Child Executions

Juvenile offender Amanj Veisee was resentenced to death for the murder of his cousin by Branch Three of Criminal Court No. 1 in the western province of Kermanshah in December 2015. The court ruled that “there is no doubt about his mental maturity at the time of the crime”. The verdict is less than a page long, and refers briefly to two statements by Amanj Veisee, which it states were later proven to be false, and point to his “intelligence and maturity”. In these statements Amanj Veisee had claimed that he stabbed his cousin only once in the leg, using a knife that a stranger passed on to him during the fight. The verdict also notes an expert opinion from a state forensic institution, the Legal Medicine Organization, on Amanj Veisee’s “lack of maturity at the time of the crime” but states, “the tests done now cannot reveal the truth about the past” and that expert opinions are intended only as guidance and are not binding on the court if they contradict other materials and existing evidence.

Amanj Veisee had been first sentenced to death in May 2008 after the Provincial Criminal Court of Kordestan Province convicted him of murder for fatally stabbing his cousin during a fight. The Supreme Court upheld the sentence three months later. In December 2013, when Amanj Veisee had reached the age of 22, the Head of the Judiciary gave permission for the sentence to be carried out, though by then a new Islamic Penal Code had entered into force which allowed courts to replace the death penalty with an alternative sentence if they determined that a juvenile offender had not understood the nature of the crime or its consequences, or there were doubts about his or her “mental growth and maturity” at the time of the crime. He was granted a retrial based on the 2013 Code in March 2015, after he had retained a new lawyer and sought a retrial from the Supreme Court.

Please write immediately in Persian, Arabic, English or your own language:
n        Urging the Iranian authorities to immediately commute Amanj Veisee’s death sentence and not carry out the execution of any person who was below the age of 18 at the time of the crime;
n        Urging them to take legislative measures to completely abolish, without any discretion for the courts or other exceptions, the use of the death penalty for crimes committed by people below the age of 18, in line with Iran’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
 
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 1 APRIL 2016 TO:
Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei        
Islamic Republic Street- End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street        
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran        
Email: via website        
http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php?
p=letter
Twitter: @khamenei_ir (English)
Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary        
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani        
c/o Public Relations Office
Number 4, Deadend of 1 Azizi

Above Pasteur Intersection
Vali Asr Street        
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info@humanrights-iran.ir
Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:
Prosecutor General of Tehran        
Abbas Ja’fari Dolat Abadi        
Tehran General and Revolutionary Prosecution Office
Corner (Nabsh-e) of 15 Khordad Square Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation        
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

Additional Information        

Amanj Veisee’s execution was twice scheduled and then postponed between 2013 and 2015. Branch 33 of the Supreme Court quashed his death sentence in March 2015 and ordered that a newly constituted court retry his case based on the juvenile sentencing guidelines of the 2013 Islamic Penal Code. As Kordestan’s Provincial Criminal Court is only composed of one branch and could not therefore provide a differently constituted panel, it referred the case for retrial to Branch Three of Kermanshah Province’s Criminal Court No. 1. Amanj Veisee said before and during the trial that he had not intended to kill his cousin whom he had grown up with and loved deeply, and that he had stabbed him in a frightened reaction to a situation where his 23-year-old cousin, whom he described as “muscular”, was strangling him. The court rejected the self-defence argument, and convicted him of “intentional murder” on the grounds that he had committed an act that was by its nature “deadly”.

As a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Iran is legally obliged to treat everyone under the age of 18 as a child. This is different from the minimum age of criminal responsibility, which is the age below which children are deemed not to have the capacity to break the law. This age varies between countries, but it must be no lower than 12 years, according to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. People who have broken the law who are above the minimum age of criminal responsibility, but under 18, may be considered criminally responsible, prosecuted, tried and punished. However, they should never be subjected to the death penalty or life imprisonment without the possibility of release.

The age of adult criminal responsibility in Iran has been set at nine lunar years for girls and 15 lunar years for boys in cases of hodud(offences against God carrying inalterable punishments prescribed by Shari’a law) and qesas (retribution-in-kind connected with a criminal act), From this age a child convicted of these offences is generally convicted and sentenced in the same way as an adult. However, since the adoption of the 2013 Islamic Penal Code, judges have been given discretion not to sentence juvenile offenders to death if they determine that juvenile offenders did not understand the nature of the crime or its consequences, or their “mental growth and maturity” are in doubt.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child reviewed Iran’s implementation of the CRC in January 2016. The Committee’s Concluding Observations express “serious concern” that the exemption of juvenile offenders from the death penalty is “under full discretion of judges who are allowed, but not mandated to seek forensic expert opinion and that several persons have been resentenced to death following such retrials”. Besides Amanj Veisee, Amnesty International is aware of at least seven other juvenile offenders – Salar Shadizadi, Hamid Ahmadi, Sajad Sanjari, Siavash Mahmoudi, Himan Uraminejad and Amir Amrollahi, and Fatemeh Salbehi – who have been retried, found to have sufficient “mental growth and maturity” at the time of the crime and sentenced to death again. The execution of Fatemeh Salbehi, who was 17 years old at the time of the commission of the crime, was carried out in October 2015. Amnesty International has recorded at least 73 executions of juvenile offenders between 2005 and 2015. According to the UN at least 160 juvenile offenders are now on death row (See Growing up on death row: The death penalty and juvenile offenders in Iran, https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde13/3112/2016/en/).

Name: Amanj Veisee
Gender m/f: m

UA: 39/16 Index: MDE 13/3473/2016 Issue Date: 19 February 2016

Amnesty International’s Report on; Iran’s New Code of Criminal Procedure

Amnesty International’s Report on; Iran’s New Code of Criminal Procedure

By Amnesty International,
11 February 2016

2e0c4-amnesty-internationalNearly four decades after Iran’s 1979 Revolution shook its criminal justice system to the core, the country’s legal framework remains largely inadequate, inefficient and inconsistent with international fair trial standards, leaving individuals who come into contact with it with little or no protection. Amnesty International’s new report, Flawed reforms: Iran’s new Code of Criminal Procedure, provides a comprehensive analysis of Iran’s new Code of Criminal Procedure, which came into force in June 2015.

The report welcomes the introduction of several long overdue reforms but expresses concern that the Code constitutes a lost opportunity as it fails, by and large, to do more than scratch the surface of the flaws that run deep in Iran’s criminal justice system.

AI_IRAN'S NEW CODE OF CRIMINAL_2016

“The issue is that there are individuals among lawyers who could be troublemakers.” Zabihollah Khodaian, the Legal Deputy of Iran’s Judiciary, June 2015

These words were spoken by Zabihollah Khodaian, the Legal Deputy of Iran’s Judiciary, in June 2015 in the wake of criticism directed at the authorities for imposing restrictions on the right to access a lawyer. While shocking, they are hardly surprising as they exemplify the long-standing lack of regard for due process in Iran’s criminal justice system. Iran’s 1979 revolution triggered a swift and fundamental transformation of the country’s justice system. Its aftermath witnessed vast numbers of people being arbitrarily detained, tortured and summarily executed with almost no regard for due process guarantees such as the right to have access to a lawyer from the time of arrest. Since then, relative order has gradually been restored to the justice system. Many laws hastily adopted after the revolution have been amended and improved. Iran has added the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to the list of international treaties to which it is state party, a list which also includes those ratified before 1979, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

However, flaws in Iranian legislation and the failure to incorporate key human rights guarantees into national law persist, making the country’s legal framework largely inconsistent with international human rights law and standards. In fact, the unfair, summary and predominantly secret processes, and the special and revolutionary courts and tribunals established in the aftermath of the revolution, continue to characterize Iran’s criminal justice system, undermining the right of all to a fair trial In June 2015, a much anticipated new Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP) entered into force in Iran.

The new CCP, which had been in the making for almost a decade, was passed by Parliament and signed into law by the President in April 2014. This new Code replaced a deeply flawed Code of Criminal Procedure, adopted in 1999, whose validity was supposed to last only for a trial period of three years but was repeatedly extended. The new Code introduces several long overdue reforms to Iran’s criminal justice system, including the restriction of the use of provisional pre-trial detention to situations where there is a risk of flight or a threat to public safety, stricter regulations governing the questioning of accused persons, and enhancement of the right to access a lawyer during the pre-trial period. However, it has failed to tackle many of the major shortcomings in Iran’s criminal justice system.

Please find the report attached and online at the following link: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde13/2708/2016/en/

IRAN: JAILED SYRIAN KURD IN IRAN NEEDS SURGERY: RAMAZAN AHMAD KAMAL

2e0c4-amnesty-internationalIRAN: JAILED SYRIAN KURD IN IRAN NEEDS SURGERY: RAMAZAN AHMAD KAMAL

Ramazan Ahmad Kamal

RAMAZAN AHMAD KAMAL

By Amnesty International,

January 29,2016

Ramazan Ahmad Kamal, a Syrian Kurd serving a 10-year prison sentence in Iran, needs urgent medical care, including surgical treatment. On his way to hospital on 30 December with a postoperative infection, he was beaten by prison officials. He was returned to prison after two weeks without receiving adequate medical care.

RAMAZAN AHMAD KAMAL

Ramazan Ahmad Kamal, a 33-year-old Syrian Kurd, is serving a 10-year prison sentence in Raja’i Shahr Prison in Karaj near Tehran, for “membership of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)”. He is in need of surgical treatment for an infection in his shoulder,which has resulted in partial paralysis of his arm. The infection appears to be the outcome of poor post-operative care following earlier surgical treatment inside prison. Ramazan Ahmad Kamal has said that he lost consciousness and fell into a coma after prison officials beat him while transferring him to hospital on 30 December. The first hospital he was taken to refused to admit him, despite his critical condition and previous arrangements made for his admission. He was then transferred to Tehran’s Imam Khomeini hospital, where he was apparently kept in the emergency department for around 48 hours before being admitted to a ward. Ramazan Ahmad Kamal was taken back to prison two weeks later, on 14 January, without receiving the treatment he needed. The transfer back to prison took place even though prison doctors and the Legal Medical Organization had apparently advised hospital treatment and Tehran’s Prosecutor had issued permission for his transfer to a hospital. He was cuffed to his bed during his entire stay in the hospital.

Ramazan Ahmad Kamal was arrested on 7 July 2008 by Iran’s border control guards after he, along with three other member of PKK, crossed the border from Iraq, allegedly by mistake. He was shot several times during arrest and sustained multiple gunshot wounds in his shoulder, abdomen, and thigh. He was initially sentenced to death by a Revolutionary Court in Khoy, Western Azerbaijan province but this was later commuted to 10 years in prison.

Please write immediately in Persian, English, Spanish, French, Arabic or your own language:

  • Urging the Iranian authorities to ensure that Ramazan Ahmad Kamal is immediately granted access to specialized medical care outside the prison;
  • Calling on them to investigate allegations that Ramazan Ahmad Kamal was subjected to beatings and other ill-treatment by prison officials and bring those responsible to justice;
  • Reminding them that Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to which Iran is a state party, protects the right of everyone, including prisoners, to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and that denial of adequate medical treatment may amount to a violation of the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment.PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 8 MARCH 2016 TO:
    The Office of the Supreme Leader
    Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
    Islamic Republic Street- End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
    Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
    Email: via website
    http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php?
    p=letter
    Twitter: @khamenei_ir (English)
    Salutation: Your Excellency
    Head of the Judiciary
    Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani
    c/o Public Relations Office
    Number 4, Deadend of 1 Azizi
    Above Pasteur Intersection
    Vali Asr Street
    Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
    Email:
    info@humanrights-iran.ir
    Salutation: Your Excellency

    And copies to
    :
    Prosecutor General of Tehran
    Abbas Ja’fari Dolat Abadi
    Tehran General and Revolutionary Prosecution Office
    Corner (Nabsh-e) of 15 Khordad Square Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

    Salutation: Your Excellency

    Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
    Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation
    Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.


Additional Information

Two other men belonging to the PPK, who were with Ramazan Ahmad Kamal at the time of arrest in 2008, were apparently shot dead by Iran’s border control guards. A third man managed to cross the border back into Iraq. Since his arrest, Ramazan Ahmad Kamal has been held in various prisons across the country including in Qazvin, Oroumieh, and Tehran.  He was not permitted access to a lawyer during the entire investigative phase and during his trial.

Following his return to prison from hospital in January 2016, Ramazan Ahmad Kamal wrote an open letter addressed to Dr Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran. In his letter, he alleged that while he was being transferred to hospital, prison officials assaulted him including by kicking him on the head and beating him with a baton – resulting in him falling into a coma. He said that he endured severe bleeding from his nose and ears and sustained bruises. Ramazan Ahmad Kamal has lodged a complaint to Tehran’s Office of the Prosecutor with regards to the incident.

Amnesty International understands that Ramazan Ahmad Kamal has so far undergone two surgeries inside Raja’i Shahr Prison, which were apparently substandard and followed by inadequate post-surgical care. He has since developed an infection which appears to have resulted in partial paralysis of his arm.

The Iranian authorities frequently transfer prisoners in need of medical care to hospital, but Amnesty International understands that prisoners are not always provided with adequate medical care there and instead are simply returned to prison. Whether done intentionally or by neglect, failing to provide adequate medical care to prisoners is a breach of Iran’s international human rights obligations. The denial of medical treatment may amount to a violation of the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment, under Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a state party. Article 12 of the ICESCR specifically recognizes the right of every person to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. The UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Mandela Rules) also state that prisons must provide adequate medical care to prisoners without discrimination (Rules 24-35). Rule 27(1) of the Mandela Rules provides that “Prisoners who require specialized treatment or surgery shall be transferred to specialized institutions or to civil hospitals.” See this public statementhttps://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde13/2508/2015/en/ for more information.

Iran’s own prison regulations are also routinely flouted by prison and judicial officials. The regulations governing the administration of Iranian prisons stipulate that a prisoner suffering from a serious medical condition that cannot be treated inside prison, or whose condition will worsen if they stay in prison, should be granted medical leave so they can receive treatment.

International law requires States to conduct prompt, impartial, independent and thorough investigations into all allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, bring those responsible to justice, and ensure that victims have access to an effective remedy and receive reparation, including rehabilitation.

Name: Ramazan Ahmad Kamal
Gender m/f: m

UA: 21/16 Index: MDE 13/3311/2016 Issue Date: 26 January 2016

Erdoganism and repression of Academics for Peace

Erdoganism and repression of Academics for Peace

Amir SharifiBy: Dr. Amir Sharifi

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Alarmingly it has now become clear that Academics for Peace initiative has occupied more than a symbolic place in the Turkish political landscape. The petition signed by 2000 professors from over 89 universities within and outside Turkey deplores the loss of lives, expresses concern and sympathy for those civilians inflicted with enormous suffering, and chronicles the tragic outcome of the curfews that plague areas such as Sur, Sivan, Nusaybin, Cizre, and Silopi.

The statement condemns the brutalities and blatant mistreatment of residents of the affected areas and warns against more horrific consequences unless the siege comes to an end.

The petition proposes sending a national and international group of observers to investigate and report their findings regarding the situation; in offering hope of reconciliation, the declaration reasserts the importance of the resumption of the peace process. In short, it is a call for peace.

However, once the message was publicized in Turkey, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) embarked on a defamation campaign against the signatories of the statement.

The hysterical reaction reveals the extent to which violence has become a conventionalized and ritualized political weapon for Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) propaganda against real or imaginary enemies.

As Huxley observes “Rulers of countries and leaders of parties find morality embarrassing. That is why they take such pain to depersonalize their opponents. All propaganda directed against an opposing group has one aim: to substitute diabolical abstractions for concrete persons….” The peace plea has fatalistically been turned into an ideological witch-hunt as new specter of Erdoganism pervades.

Erdogan in his customary Machiavellian manner denounced the signatories as “so-called academics”, “fifth column”, meddlers that know nothing about the geography of the “Southeast”, “so-called intellectuals …dark people” agents of foreign powers who intend to bring back “protectorate “ or colonial powers that “Turkey“ experienced, [their] betrayal …100 years ago.” He specifically branded Noam Chomsky–the prominent linguist and intellectual whose scope of knowledge about world affairs cannot be questioned–“ignorant” about the situation in the “Southeast.”

Although this is not the first time that AKP is silencing dissents and calling their critics names, the politics of Erdoganism took on a more aggressive language against any freedom of expression and any pleas for peace anywhere in the world.

Soon after Erdogan’s cursing ritual, Higher Education Council set out to investigate those who had signed the declaration in Turkey. Prosecutors immediately began bringing lawsuits against “subversive” academicians who presumably had undermined “the nation” and “Turkishness” and “spread terrorist propaganda.”

In a letter of protest in defense of academic freedoms in Turkey, addressed to the Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, Middle East Studies Association (MESA) cites multiple examples of punitive measures that are being currently taken against the academics in Turkey on the ground that they have signed the peace petition.

Yet according to another letter of support written by the British-based Academic Community, 22 academicians have been arrested, facing imprisonments of 1-5 years.

The belligerent tirade instigated by AKP is inflaming Islamist bigots, fascists, and even criminals to take matters into their own hands. A convicted criminal like Sedat Peker who happens to be a supporter of AKP Party, issued a monstrously murderous threat to intellectuals “…. I would like to say it again: We will spill your blood, and we will take a shower with your blood!”

Yeni Akit daily–notorious for its IS type ideology–has published the complete list of the signatories, accusing them of treason. Yonter, the Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP)’s Istanbul Deputy, has gone so far to call universities as ‘home to terrorists,” advising the government to take a similar fight like the one carried out in Sur, Cizre, Dargecit, and Silopi “against the terrorists in universities.”

The Academics for Peace Petition was merely a symbolic gesture in defense of peace and freedom of expression. More and more academicians, journalists, and human rights activists are becoming victims of AKP’s venomous propaganda and its witch-hunt every day.

As a result of the Academics for Peace initiative, the world now knows more about the magnitude of the oppression and repression in Turkey. Erdogan continues to justify the persecution of academicians by denouncing them as “cruel” and “despicable.”

Beyond the need for more academic communities to join the solidarity movement with academicians in Turkey, the international community should stop the Turkish government’s assault on academic freedom.

The U.S and the European Community can also do more than simply expressing their disapproval of such actions by exerting pressure on the Turkish government to both halt the persecution of the academicians and resume the peace process before more academicians are victimized and more people are killed in the name of AKP’s Turkish Nation.

Dr. Amir Sharifi is a professor at California State University, Long Beach.

Original Link: http://www.kurdistan24.net/

Dr. Karim Lahidji, FIDH President, promoted in National Order of the Legion of Honour by François Hollande

FIDH Presidents promoted in National Order of the Legion of Honour by François Hollande

FIDH Presidents promoted in National Order of the Legion of Honour by François Hollande

FIDH Presidents promoted in National Order of the Legion of Honour by François Hollande

Karim Lahidji, FIDH President, Sidiki Kaba and Michel Blum, both FIDH Honorary Presidents have been promoted in the National Order of the Legion of Honour today, Friday 6 November 2015, by President François Hollande at the Elysee Palace.

During the ceremony, President Hollande emphasised the courage of human rights defenders who risk their lives daily, and who are represented by FIDH, Worldwide Movement for Human Rights with its 178 member organisations throughout the world. The French President stressed the need for French diplomacy to participate in the protection of human rights defenders and promised to take advantage of all opportunities to do so.

For the three recipients, this ceremony was first and foremost a tribute to the FIDH movement and to all human rights defenders. They drew the president’s attention to the dozens of cases of defenders who are arbitrarily detained throughout the world, in particular in Azerbaijan, Iran, Egypt and Angola. They moreover stressed the importance of systematically involving the French diplomacy to obtain their release, and also more generally for the protection of the defenders and of freedom to stand up for universal rights.

The recipients:

- Michel Blum, French lawyer, FIDH President from 1983 to 1986, was promoted to the rank of Grand Officer.

- Sidiki Kaba, Senegalese lawyer, Minister of Justice of Senegal, FIDH President from 2001 to 2007, was promoted to the rank of Commander.

- Karim Lahidji, Iranian lawyer, FIDH President since 2013, was promoted to the rank of Knight.

Souhayr Belhassen and Patrick Baudouin who presided over FIDH from 2007 to 2013 and from 1995 to 2001 respectively were recently promoted in the National Order of the Legion of Honour by François Hollande.

Source: https://www.fidh.org/en/region/europe-central-asia/france/fidh-presidents-promoted-in-national-order-of-the-legion-of-honour-by

Will the United States Sell Out the Kurds Again and Forfeit a Loyal Ally?

Will the United States Sell Out the Kurds Again and Forfeit a Loyal Ally?

saman_shali_01.jpg

 By Dr. Saman Shali:

ئه م نوستراوه به زماني كوردى

kurdistantribune

August 27,2015

The history of contact between the United States and the Kurds goes way back to President Woodrow Wilson. In January 1918, for the first time the US supported the Kurds’ rights within the Ottoman Empire in the 14 points by President Wilson. But because the US did not have an important role in the area, they did not give any weight to the US declaration in support of the Kurds.

The Kurds have been sold out at least three times during this century and these betrayals still burn vividly in the mind of the Kurds. In 1946 the Republic of Mahabad was sacrificed for the Shah of Iran with US blessing; in 1975 the Kurdish Revaluation was sacrificed for the Shah of Iran and Saddam Hussein with US support; and in February 1991, the US president asked the Kurds and the Shiites to rise up and rebel against the Iraqi government. In response to this request, they did so. At the time, most politicians in the U.S. said that this request did not signal a change in US policy towards the Kurds, but was rather an attempt to weaken the Iraqi government. After the uprising and the victory of the US army, the United States washed their hands of the Kurds, leaving them to face their fate alone.

When Saddam attacked the Kurds, the Kurds were forced to flee their homes and make a mass exodus from the Kurdistan region – from Iraq to Iran and Turkey. It was only under huge international pressure that the US was left with no choice but to protect the Kurds. Though there was no new policy on the Kurdish issue, it opened a new page in the relations between the Kurds and the US. Between 1991 and 2003 this relationship was limited to protection and humanitarian support.

On March 6, 2003, I was included in the Iraqi opposition delegation to the White House to meet with Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice in support to overthrow the Saddam Hussein Government. When I shook hands with Dr. Rice, I told her, “Please do not sell out the Kurds again.” She replied, “I promise we will not.” This promise has been kept by the United States until now. But, frankly, I am wondering how long we can count on the United States to continue to keep its word.

In 2003 under President George Bush, a new level of diplomacy between the US and the Kurds began. The Kurds supported the US in its move to overthrow the Iraqi Government in 2003. In so doing, the Kurds have proven to be the United States’ only true partner in Iraq. And up to this point, the Kurds still are the only true partner on the ground in Iraq. The cooperation between the U.S. and the Kurds in the last decade has raised the level of trust in the Kurdish-US relationship to the highest level it has ever been. For the first time Kurdish delegations are welcomed officially and publicly to the White House.

But an interesting thing happened after Obama become President: he started to give more weight to the central government in Baghdad. Under President Obama, the Iraqi government returned to its policy of ignoring the Kurds and the Sunni element, while the role of Iran increased in importance. Even now, the US policy is to support the unity of Iraq, while in reality, the three regions: Sunni, Shi’a and Kurdish, are concerned with their own interests and pretty much operate separately.

Based on the news coming out of Washington, D.C., there is division among US policy makers as to how they should treat the Kurds in Iraq and what US foreign policy toward the Kurds should be. There are two major powers in the Middle East, Turkey and Iran. Each has desires and plans to dominate the Middle East, the Turkish leader wants to re-establish the Ottoman Empire and be its Sultan. Iran wants to turn all the Middle East as a Shiite domain, while ISIS is spreading havoc in all.

Let’s look at the biggest threat in the Middle East today: the intrusion of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. In the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria the Kurds have proven themselves once again to be the true allies of the West in its fight against terrorism. The Kurds have given their best men and women to fight ISIS, and they have been on the front lines of the battle, ahead of the Iraqi Army, the Turkish Army, or any other army. In laying their lives down for the cause, the Kurds have proven to be the only force able to stand up to ISIS and push them back, while facilitated by international air support led by the US. Meanwhile, Turkey as a member of NATO remained on the sidelines, turning blind eyes to the border crossings of ISIS fighters in its territory, while preventing the US—until only very recently—to use its bases to help out the Kurds in their fight against ISIS.

On June 7, 2015 Turkey had its election in which the Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its majority to form the government by itself. The AKP went from 327 seats to 258 seats, while the pro-Kurdish party HDP took 80 seats (13% of the total votes). This was interpreted as a big slap on the face of the AKP party and its policy in the region. The lack of consideration given to the Kurds can no longer be sustained and Turkey is going to have to deal with its Kurds as legitimate players on the political scene for the first time. The failing polices of the AKP (Zero Policy) within Turkey and its neighbors and the region clearly reflect in the last election. The Kurds want to be a true partner for peace, democracy and human rights in Turkey and in the region.

The AKP is now looking for a way out of the mandate given it to consider the Kurds as legitimate players in the political realm. In its attempt to protect itself and retain full power, Turkey’s options include the following:

  1. To consider the PKK and the YGP as terrorists and treat them as such.
  2. To show itself as the leading force in the fight against ISIS.
  3. To establish a buffer zone in Syria; to separate the Kurdish area.
  4. To call for an early election, set for November 1st, 2015.
  5. To punish the HDP pro-Kurdish party, for their victory in the last election.
  6. To remove the Assad regime and, with it, the Iranian influence on its border.
  7. To open its Air bases to the US and the coalitions’ fight against ISIS; to buy their support.

To get NATO’s support and approval for its fight against ISIS and the Kurds as one package.

NATO and Kurds (1)

The Kurds in Turkey want to fight ISIS but Turkey does not only prevent them from doing so but they bomb them, wanting to eliminate them. Yet Turkey is part of NATO. On July 28, 2015 NATO supported Turkey in its fight against ISIS. But in doing so, it opposed Turkey’s request to establish a buffer zone in Syria and its fight against the Kurds in Syria unless the Kurds attacked Turkey. Only if the Kurds attacked Turkey would NATO support Turkey’s retaliation. Of course, Turkey will do everything in its power to provoke the Kurds to attack them so that they can get NATO support to retaliate.

It has been reported that a US delegation led by retired Gen. John Allen, President Barack Obama’s envoy for dealing with IS, held critical talks in Ankara on July 7-8. The discussions concluded with what US officials called a “game changer” — a joint action plan involving Turkey, the United States and the US-led coalition against IS. The core of the plan calls for Turkey to become an active partner in the anti-ISIS coalition of about 60 countries.

The explosion in Suruc (Syria) on July 20 by ISIS resulted in killing 32 citizens of Turkey. It created a window of opportunity for the AKP to make a public announcement, and the Turkish government made a statement on July 24 promising to actively participate in aerial attacks against ISIS and to allow the US to use the Incirlik Air Base in their fight against ISIS. This decision coincided with a massive Turkish air campaign (over 400 sorties, 400 PKK positions and over 300 smart bombs) against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) bases in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, while it conducted only three sorties against ISIS in Syria.

This ‘change’ in Turkish Government policy was welcomed by the Obama administration, which supported Turkey and its fight against the PKK and ISIS as terrorist groups. The Obama administration stopped just short of supporting Turkey’s fight against the PYD & YGP in Syria, those with the only actual boots on the ground fighting ISIS to stop them.

The US should remember how Turkey refused, in the last war against Saddam Hussein in the recent Iraq war, to let US Troops go through Turkey. It was US, the Iraqi Kurds, who liberated North Iraq without the loss of a single American soldier. As for the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 states led by the US: the agreement gave Iran more power in the area despite US claims. It does not make Iran a good partner in the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria’ and it depends less on the Kurdish Peshmarga. It does make the central Government in Iraq stronger as it waits for the first opportunity to turn against the Kurds. Turkey views this agreement in two ways: (1) this will lead to increased economic cooperation between Turkey and Iran; (2) but in the political arena this agreement means that the Assad regime will stay in power and Iran’s authority will increase in Iraq and Lebanon too. That is why Turkey moved fast to open its Air bases to the US. It wants to be part of the international coalition to fight ISIS in order to balance Iran in the region and to stop the Kurds in Rojava. Turkey wants the credit in leading the fight against ISIS instead of the Kurds. If Turkey gets its way, the Kurds will once again be marginalized with blessing of the US.

Terrorism is spread throughout the Middle East. Sponsored by Iran, supported by Turkey but the Kurdish people, whether in Iraq, Iran, Syria or Turkey, don’t allow terrorists in their midst. The PKK is not a terrorist organization and should be removed from that list because listing them as such gives Turkey the freedom to kill them; they must be accepted us partner for peace in Turkey.

There seems to be a willingness to sacrifice the Kurds, just as Czechoslovakia was sacrificed to appease the Nazis. We are not willing to be the scapegoat. The US should also remember that they have sold the Iraqi Kurds to Saddam Hussein before and he ended up gassing us. Now they want to sell the Kurds in Iraq, Syria and Turkey to Iran and Turkey. God knows what will happen next to the Kurds. This would be sad because it will be the fourth time that the US sells out the Kurds. Is this is the price to be a true ally and fight terrorism and to be a guardian of democracy and peace in the region?

Dr. Saman Shali – Former President of the Kurdish National Congress of the North America (KNC)

Source: http://kurdistantribune.com/

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Kurdish Americans Honor America’s Fallen Soldiers

Kurdish Americans Honor America’s Fallen Soldiers
KAC4DHRI-Memorial day 2015

Attending a political discussion on Iran and U. S. Policy

Attending a political discussion on Iran and U. S. Policy

Honorable Tom Ridge; The First U.S. Homeland Security Secretary, former Pennsylvania Governor, and Homeland Security Advisor to President George W. Bush. And Colonel Wesley Martin (ret.), Former Senior Antiterrorism, Force Protection Officer,. Coalition Forces – Iraq, Operations Chief, Task Force 134

، ديدارى با وزير سابق امنيت ملى امريكا ، آقاى تام ريج

ديداريك له گه ل وزيرى پيشوى ئاسايشى نيشتمانى ولاته يه كگرتوه كانى ئه مريكا

اين نشست با همت آقاى رى سابو برگزار شده بود 

M.A.Moradian_Tom_Ridge_01 M.A.Moradian_Tom_Ridge_02 M.A.Moradian_Tom_Ridge_03 M.A.Moradian_Tom_Ridge_04 M.A.Moradian_Tom_Ridge_05 M.A.Moradian_Tom_Ridge_06 M.A.Moradian_Tom_Ridge_07 M.A.Moradian_Wesley Martin_01 M.A.Moradian_Wesley Martin_02

We Petition The Obama Administration to: Support Kurdish Independence

WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:

 Support Kurdish Independence

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/support-kurdish-independence/wk7K9SSp

Obama-barzani-flexedFor over a century, the Kurdish people have been repeatedly tortured, gassed, and brutally repressed in every country they live in.

Denied an independent state of their own, the Kurds have suffered innumerable injustices at the hands of the people ruling them, including but not limited to a horrific genocide at the hands of Saddam Hussein in the late 80s. Recently, the President of Iraqi Kurdistan, Masoud Barzani, announced his support for an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq.

The Kurds, already given self-autonomy in part of Iraq, have proven themselves more than able to run a country and are currently fighting against the malicious terrorist group, ISIL. As such, the Obama Administration should support Kurdish Independence for the betterment of the region and the world.

Created: Jul 23, 2014

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/support-kurdish-independence/wk7K9SSp

Jonathan Schwoerer, US Teen Petitions Obama for Kurdish Independence

Jonathan Schwoerer, US Teen Petitions Obama for Kurdish Independence

By :James Reinl
Rudaw.net  30/7/2014

NEW YORK – An American high school student is petitioning US President Barack Obama to recognize a free Kurdish state.

Jonathan Schwoere  Photo: Public Domain, VOKRadio

Jonathan Schwoerer_VOKRadio_Public_Domain

Jonathan Schwoerer hopes to get 100,000 signatures on the White House petition website and oblige the US Government to make an official comment.

“I’ve always been interested in Middle East politics and this Kurdish issue just resonates with me,” said Schwoerer, 16, from Poughkeepsie in upstate New York. “I have a great respect for a people who have been betrayed and denied a state and are now fighting for their inherent right to self-determination.”

Schwoerer says he is an “ordinary high school student”. His Facebook page is decorated with a photo of the Kurdish flag and another of himself holding Twinkie cake snacks. The petition has already garnered more than 38,000 signatures and has until August 22 to reach its target.

It describes how Kurds suffered under Iraq’s former president, Saddam Hussein, and are currently threatened by Islamic State militants. Turmoil in Iraq and greater autonomy for its northern Kurdish provinces have raised the spectre of a free Kurdish state breaking away from the south. But the US and the UN warn against Iraq fragmenting and say Kurds, Sunnis, Shias and other groups should work together in a unified nation.

 

 

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/support-kurdish-independence/wk7K9SSp

“Obama is selfish in this respect,” Schwoerer told Rudaw. “He doesn’t want to be the president under whose watch Iraq disintegrates.”

Kani Xulam, director at American Kurdish Information Network, said he saw a link to the petition being shared online and was among the first to sign up.

“When you have 100,000 people saying they care about this issue then the White House has to take notice,” Xulam said.

If we can get Americans, British and the French to say they recognize the right of Kurdish people to their place in the sun, then this will be progress.

” The petition can be found here:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/support-kurdish-independence/wk7K9SSp

 

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