Archive for February, 2011

Source: Jerusalem post

Syria has ordered the sentence for those convicted of honor killings tripled to between five and seven years.

The local press reported Monday that President Bashar Assad amended the current law which stipulated a jail sentence of just two years for those convicted of killing a relative for having illicit sex. 

Activists say some 150-200 women are killed every year in Syria by their relatives in order to preserve conservative tribal notions of family honor. The killings, they say, are abetted by lenient punishments.

Honor killing in Syria mostly takes place in rural areas.

Basam al-Qadhi, director of the Syrian Women Observatory, criticized the new law as still too lenient and demanded a minimum penalty of 15 years.

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Press release: for immediate release

10 Feb 2011

We, the following NGO’s: Roj Women Assembly, The Socialist Union of Women, Kurdish Federation UK, Kurdish Community Centre, Halkevi and the Britain Peace Council strongly condemn the Turkish State’s inaction and hindrance of investigations of unsolved political murders occurred since 1990’s, particularly in the South East regions of Turkey.

After recent excavations of some mass graves on 5th January 2011 in the Mutki district of Bitlis province, where human bones were discovered, the Turkish government has been rejecting to continue opening the 488 mass graves known to locals in numerous parts of Kurdish regions of Turkey. We believe the State’s refusal to pursue this matter, despite the countless complaints filed by the relatives of those disappeared during the last two decades and the confession of ex civil servants and Army and police official and witnesses, is an attempt to cover up evidence of political murders. (more…)

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The Istanbul 12th High Criminal Court insisted on its decision for the acquittal of sociologist Pınar Selek for the third time. Her hearing was observed by numerous Turkish and international observers. Selek applied to the ECHR for compensation.

Source: Istanbul – BİA News Center

Sociologist Pınar Selek was one of five people whose cases were re-tried after the Court of Appeals 9th Chamber had quashed the related verdicts of the local courts. Selek’s second hearing was held on Wednesday (9 Februray) at the Istanbul 12th High Criminal Court.

The court decided for the acquittal of Pınar Selek for the third time. She was represented by about 30 lawyers at the Wednesday hearing. Selek, currently residing in Germany, did not attend the hearing at the Beşiktaş (Istanbul) Courthouse.


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In a recent summary report of their campaign for an effective implementation of the National Action Plan to combat violence against women Roj Women explain why they believe the Turkish Plan is failing to deliver its goals.

In South East Turkey 1 out of 2 women are victims of violence against women. The national average is 39%. In a context of social and economic development neglect, pervasive patriarchal attitudes and militarization all contribute to high rates of violence against women in the region.

Overall, the legal and policy framework guaranteeing women’s rights and gender equality is broadly in place in Turkey. The National Action Plan to combat violence against women is the most important measure among them.

The 3€ million budget allocated by the EU to tackle domestic violence produced the tools, the Action Plan among them, to help the Government in its efforts towards gender equality; thus, the responsibility to allocate funds for the implementation of the plan lies with the Turkish Government.  Enforcement mechanisms so that legislation is implemented consistently across the country are scarce. Abundant evidence and cases in the last months are proof that measures envisioned in the Action Plan are not in place.


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Toplu mezarlar acilsin kayiplar bulunsun, failler yargilansin Turkiye karanligiyla yuzlessin..

Basina ve Kamuoyuna


Biz bu metinde imzasi bulunanlar,  Roj Kadin Meclisi, Sosyalist Kaindinlar Birligi, Britanya Baris Meclisi, Fed-Bir, Kurt Toplum Merkezi ve Halkevi olarak Kurdistan’da TC Devleti’nin insanliga karsi isledigi bu vahseti nefretle kiniyor, biran once Insan Haklari Evrensel Bildirgesi geregince sorumluluklarini yerine getirmesini talep ediyoruz.

 İnsanlığa karşı suçlar 1998 yılında Kabul edilen Uluslararası Ceza Mahkemesi’nce soyle tanimlanmaktadir. “cinayet, yoketme, köleleştirme, nüfusun sınır dışı edilmesi ya da zorla nakledilmesi, hukuka aykırı bir şekilde hapsetme ya da özgürlükten mahrum bırakma, işkence, tecavüz, cinsel kölelik, zorla fahişeliğe zorlama, zorla hamile bırakma, zorla kısırlaştırma, cinsel şiddet kullanma, zulmetme, kişilerin ortadan zorla kaybedilmesi, ırk ayrımcılığı, diğer insanlık dışı suçlar ,insanlığa karşı suçlar olarak nitelendirilmektedir”. (more…)

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05 February 2011

Press release: For immediate release

We, the following NGO’s: Roj Women Assembly, The Socialist Union of Women, Kurdish Federation UK, Kurdish Community Centre, Halkevi and Britain Peace Council strongly condemn the Turkish State’s barbaric murders and disappearances of Kurds and other minorities. We urge the Turkish State to comply with European Human Rights Convention 1998 and the Statement on the Protection against Enforced Disappearances, accepted by the United Nations 1992.

Turkey has been committing serious crimes against humanity in the Kurdish regions for the last 30 years. This has been proved once more after recent excavations of mass graves in the Mutki district of Bitlis province, where human bones were discovered. The Turkish government has been rejecting to investigate unsolved political murders conducted from 1990’s. Regardless of many complaints filed by the relatives of those forcibly disappeared and the confession of clandestine intelligence and witnesses, Turkish government remains silent. Moreover,  it has been trying cover up the evidence. (more…)

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Filiz Sütcü, a lawyer of Turkish origin, has carried out academic research into the subject of forced and arranged marriages.

Source: Qantara

In an interview with Claudia Mende, she criticises the media’s sensational treatment of the issue and explains that public debate is usually more about cultural and religious defamation.

Ms Sütçü, in your doctoral dissertation you investigate how one can differentiate an arranged marriage from a forced marriage. Is this possible?

Filiz Sütçü: Under certain circumstances, an arranged marriage can be a forced marriage that is simply not recognizable as such from the outside. Also, in the case of forced marriages, the parents “initiate” the marriage and choose the partner. When a 14 or 15-year-old daughter is told by her parents that she is to marry a cousin from their homeland, then you can hardly assume that there is no compulsion in an arranged marriage. The girls are brought up in such a way that they aren’t allowed to oppose their parents. This is why they can’t really say “no” in this situation.

So it is simply because arranged marriages are taken for granted?


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