Human Rights in Iraq Eight Years After the US-Led Invasion

February 22, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

Human Rights Watch:

At a Crossroads: Human Rights in Iraq Eight Years After the US-Led Invasion


February 2011


June 7, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

European states must stop the imminent forcible return of Iraqis

7 June 2010

Amnesty International has called on five European states to immediately stop the forcible return of individuals to Iraq, because their human rights are at serious risk if they are returned to the country.   

A number of Iraqis currently living in the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK are scheduled to be forcibly returned to Baghdad on 9 June on a flight jointly arranged by the authorities of Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK. The group being returned to Iraq includes a number of people who have sought asylum but whose claims have been refused.   

Amnesty International believes that the decision to forcibly return Iraqis is in direct breach of guidelines set out by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), which has urged governments not to return individuals to Iraq, until the security situation improves.

“Forcible return of these people would violate international refugee and human rights standards which all three of these governments have accepted,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy director of Amnesty International’s programme for the Middle East and North Africa.   

Seven years after the US-led invasion, Iraqis are still living in a climate of fear, with hundreds of civilians being killed or injured every month.”   
Those most in danger when returned to Iraq  come from the five provinces considered to be particularly dangerous by the UNHCR: Ninewa (Mosul), Kirkuk, Diyala, Salah al-Din and Baghdad. Anyone from these provinces should be granted refugee status or a form of subsidiary protection in Europe.

“The Iraqi government is clearly unable to protect its own citizens, including those returned to the country from abroad.”

In the case of asylum-seekers from other provinces of Iraq, individual assessment should be made to assess whether they also qualify for refugee or subsidiary protection. In the event that they do not qualify for such protection, Amnesty International calls on host countries to grant Iraqis temporary humanitarian protection until the security situation in the country has further improved.

Amnesty International delegates currently visiting the Kurdistan region of Iraq have met a number of Iraqis from Baghdad, including members of ethnic and religious minority groups, who have been forced to leave their homes in the capital and come to the Kurdish provinces. Several people report having been forced out of their homes in Baghdad by members of armed groups.

Amnesty International has also spoken to several Iraqis from a group of 35 who were forcibly returned to Iraq by the Netherlands government on 30 March 2010, including Shi’a Turkoman, a 22-year-old man from Tal Afar, a city north of Mosul, currently stranded in Baghdad out of fear for his life should he return to a region where hundreds of civilians have been killed in sectarian or other politically motivated violence.

The UNHCR has called for no forcible returns of Iraqis to the five provinces considered to be particularly dangerous. UNHCR’s guidelines also advise states not to return any Iraqis to any other area of Iraq unless an individual assessment has been carried out on the risks they would face if returned.  Various international human rights treaties expressly prohibit the forcible return of anyone to a country where they would be at risk of torture or other serious human rights violations.

Turkmen Community Representatives in northern Iraq write to Human Rights Watch

November 10, 2009 at 2:12 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: , , ,

Mr. Samer Muscati

Human Rights Watch

Middle East & North Africa Division.

Kerkuk, 9th November 2009.

Dear Mr. Samer Muscati,


It is only yesterday and by pure chance that we heard that your organization “Human Rights Watch” is going to hold a conference in Erbil City (Northern Iraq) on  November 10th 2009 on the topic of  “Human Rights of the Minority Groups in Northern Iraq”.


We the undersigned, representing the Turkmen Community in the north of Iraq, namely: the Turkmen Human Rights Activists, the Turkmen Civil Society Organizations,  the Turkmen Political Detainees & Martyrs Organization, the Independent Turkmen media representatives and the Turkmen jurists,  regret that none of our organisations has been informed by Human Rights Watch of the holding of this conference or of its programme.  


We assume that this coming conference in Erbil which follows your fact finding mission in the north of Iraq, particularly in the plains of Ninewah and in the Sinjar region a few months ago,  will be dealing with your findings concerning the human rights violations committed by the Kurdish regional authoriy against the Chaldeo-Assyrian and Yezidi minorities in the north of Iraq.


You will remember that at the time when you were investigating human rights violations in the north of Iraq, we made several attempts to meet with you in order to inform you about the human rights violations committed by the Kurdish authorities against the Turkmens who live in the Kurdish autonomous region as well as in Kerkuk province and in parts of Mosul, Sallahedin and Diyala provinces which came under the Kurdish militias’ control after April 2003.


We invited you to come and visit us in Kerkuk to assess in situ the human rights situation.  We informed you that a Turkmen delegation was prepared to meet with you and provide you with documents proving human rights violations committed against the Turkmens, but you told us that your mission was coming to an end and that you were on the point of leaving Iraq, adding that you would be in touch with us soon after your return. Unfortunately, that was the last time we heard from you.


Despite the shortcomings of your last mission to the area as far as we Turkmens are concerned, we continue to fully appreciate your efforts to investigate the human rights violations against the minorities in the north of Iraq.


We are conviced that Human Rights Watch organization’s activities in the north of Iraq and its reports on human rights in the region are of utmost importance as the region is the common homeland of several ethnic and religious communities (Kurds, Turkmens, Arabs, Chaldeo-Assyrians, Yezidis and Shabaks).


Indeed, Human Rights Watch being a well recognized organization, its reports on human rights violations are read and taken into consideration worldwide.


For the second time in less than six months you are visiting the Kurdish autonomous region and its capital Erbil, where you are going to hold a conference on Human Rights of the Minority Groups in Northern Iraq and the eventual violations committed by the Kurdish regional authority against them.


We regret the choice of Erbil for your conference as it is extremely difficult if not impossible for us Turkmen representatives living outside the Kurdish autonomous region to reach Erbil and attend the conference, because of the numerous checkpoints which are tightly controlled by the Kurdish militias and/or security forces.  Our past experiences  have proven that Kurdish militias confiscate any documents of importance especially those relating to human rights violations by the Kurds against northern Iraq’s other ethnic communities, and that the bearers of such documents are arrested and punished.


We take this opportunity to give you some examples of human rights violations by the Kurdish authorities against the Turkmens in Erbil:


  1. The imposition of the Kurdish language in Turkmen schools
  2. Obliging Turkmen students to follow courses glorifying the Kurdish language and nationality to the detriment of their own Turkmen language and nationality
  3. Demolishing Turkmen cemetaries in an attempt to erase the proofs of the Turkmens’  presence and of their long history in Erbil
  4. Changing and Kurdifying the names of Erbil’s Turkmen neighbourhoods, mosques and other monuments .


Normally, the Turkmens who constitute the second main ethnic community in the north Iraq must obtain and should enjoy the same rights that the Kurds have obtained and are enjoying for being Iraq’s second main ethnic community, but unfortunately the Turkmens’ rights in the north of Iraq continue to be denied, they continue to be marginalized and discriminated by the Kurdish authorities.


As we highly value Human Rights Watch’s activities we would have very much appreciated to receive official invitations from you to attend the conference in Erbil in order to address the conference and present our grievances and suggestions in total freedom, without psychological pressures and security threats.


For your information there are safe places to hold conferences in Kerkuk, where the UN has opened an office and where the US and the UK have opened consulates.  Pretending that Kerkuk is not safe to hold such a conference is a pretext to exclude the Turkmens and prevent them from presenting their cause and the human rights violations committed against them to the international community.


We Turkmens, have always been peace loving people who value human rights, we firmly believe that in a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country like Iraq all the communities should enjoy full and equal rights.


We reiterate our readiness to assist at your conferences if they are held in Kerkuk, Baghdad or any other location outside the Kurdish autonomous region.


We thank you once again for your efforts to defend human dignity and human rights worldwide.


Hoping to hear from you soon,


We are,


Yours truly,



Rushdi Huseyn Ali,

Activist in the field of Human Rights


Kasim Kazanci,

Director of Turkmen Civil Society Organization


Hashim Rashad Muhtaroglu,

President of Turkmen Political prisoners and martyrs Organization


Nermeen Al-Mufti,

Turkmen Independent Media Representative


Safwat Saleh Sabbar,

Turkmen Jurist


Norhan Rushid Saadetin,

Turkmen Jurist.


Merry Fitzgerald

Vice-President Committee for the Defence of the Iraqi Turkmens’ Rights in the EU 



October 2, 2009 at 7:51 pm | Posted in Turkmens | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


 E McMillan-Scott and H AYDINLI

MEP Edward McMILLAN-SCOTT, Vice President of EU Parliament and Dr. Hassan AYDINLI, ITF EU Representative


With MEP Graham WATSON



Dr. Hassan AYDINLI, ITF EU Representative and Mrs Merry FITZGERALD of the Committee for the Defence of the Iraqi Turkmen Rights in Belgium received invitations from several Members of the European Parliament and from the Director of the Brussels based association “HUMAN RIGHTS WITHOUT FRONTIERS”  Mr Willy FAUTRE to attend a conference on the Human Rights in China at the European Parliament in Brussels on 30th September 2009.


The conference was held on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Republic of China to analyse China’s performance in the field of Human rights and Freedoms for civil society. It was held under the title:


60 Years of Democracy in China

(seen by Uyghurs, Tibetans, Falun Gong, Human Rights Defenders)


The conference was organised at the initiative of some Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) with the participation of the Director of the Human Rights without Frontiers association in Brussels:


Mr. Edward McMILLAN-SCOTT, MEP and Vice-President of EU Parliament

Mr. Graham WATSON, MEP and Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe)

Mr. Thomas MANN, MEP and Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (Group of the European People’s Party)

Mrs. Eva LICHTENBERGER, MEP and Vice-Chairwoman (Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance)

 Mr.  Willy FAUTRE, Director of Human Rights Without Frontiers

 Representatives from three Chinese communities in Europe and the Director of Human Rights without Frontiers were invited to the conference to share the panel with the MEPs and to address the conference. These Representatives were :-  


Mr. Isa Dolkun,  EU Representative of the Uyghurs & Secretary General of the World Uyghur Congress.

Mr. Tashi Wangdi, EU Representative of the Dalai Lama.

Mr. Man-Yan Ng, EU Representative of the Falun Gong Association.


Mr. Paolo Barabesi, Assistant to the Director of Human Rights without Frontiers, read Mr. Willy Fautré’s speech.

The organisers of the conference and their guest speakers addressed the conference, they described the political situation in China since the foundation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and they criticized the Chinese authorities for the lack of real democracy in China and for the intolerable violations of human rights against the Chinese people in general and against the Uyghur and Tibetan communities in particular.


Each guest speaker presented a written statement in which they explained the actual situation and living conditions of their community in China. They all denounced the Chinese authorities’ intolerances and dictatorship, accusing the Chinese regime of brutal human rights violation against the Uyghurs, the Tibetans and the Falun Gong practitioners.     


MEP Thomas MANN,  Mr. MAN-YAN Ng, Mr. Tashi WANGDI


After the conference Dr. Hassan AYDINLI, ITF EU Representative, established contact with the MEPs who had organised the conference and he presented the Iraqi Turkmens’ cause to them, describing the Turkmen reality in Iraq and updating them on the current difficult political situation, hard economical conditions, troubled cultural environment and unsafe living conditions imposed on the Iraqi Turkmens since decades.


He emphasized the deterioration of the situation for the Turkmens in Iraq, politically, economically and socially, especially after the regime change in April 2003. He explained how Turkmens continue to suffer from countless human rights violations as a consequence of an institutionalised discrimination policy applied against the Turkmens since the creation of the Iraqi State in 1921 and since the adoption of the “New Iraqi Constitution” which was concocted in a rush by a bunch of inexperienced, ethnically motivated and power thirsty ‘new Iraqi politicians’ under US occupation. Indeed, the new Iraqi constitution is terribly backward as it clearly discriminates between the Iraqi citizens according to their ethnic origin. The Arabs and Kurds are classified as ‘first class citizens’ and the country’s main landlords and share holders, while the Turkmens, the Chaldeo-Assyrians, the Shabaks, the Yezidis and other minority groups are considered as ‘second class citizens’.


Dr. H. AYDINLI stressed the fact that this ‘new constitution’ contains some terminology and notions unheard of in any constitution before, such as ‘Contested Territories and ‘Disputed border lines’ within the same country!!! and the infamous article 140 concerning Kerkuk. He also pointed out that the new constitution includes several controversial articles, which if they are maintained in the constitution will ultimately divide Iraq in two regions, a Kurdish region in the north and an Arabic region in the south, thus denying the Turkmens who are the third main ethnic component of the Iraqi people the right to have their own region (Turkmeneli). This would lead to more instability in Iraq and in the region.


Dr. H. AYDINLI urged the MEPs:

– to support the Turkmens’ just cause

– to follow closely the evolution of the political process in Iraq

– to monitor the upcoming general election in January 2010.

 Conf at EU Parl 60 Years Democracy in China DOLKUN AND AYDINLI 2

Mr. Isa DOLKUN and Dr. Hassan AYDINLI

ITF EU representative had the pleasure to meet again with the Secretary General of the World Uyghur Congress, Mr. Isa DOLKUN, and to reiterate the Iraqi Turkmens’ support to the Uyghur people and their just cause.


Dr. H. AYDINLI also spoke with former MEP F. SCHWALBA-HOTH, analyst and independent political strategist with whom he had already met on another occasion.

 Conf at EU Parl 60 Years Democracy in China 022

He made an interesting new encounter with Count Leonardo Alaeddin CLERICI* (Philosopher and Poet) President of Istituto di Skriptura Brussels-Istanbul.

 Conf at EU Parl 60 Years Democracy in China 028

Count Leonardo Alaeddin CLERICI, Mr. Isa DOLKUN, Dr Hassan AYDINLI

He also spoke with Brussels based journalist Magda FAHSI of Human Rights-Geneva to whom he gave some examples of the human rights abuses and discriminations to which the Turkmens continue to be exposed in today’s Iraq.  Ms. FAHSI is interested to hear more about the Turkmens and she will be in touch.



Merry FITZGERALD of the Committee for the Defence of the Iraqi Turkmens’ Rights took part in the presentation of the Turkmen cause to the MEPs, adding her own arguments. 


* L. A.CLERICI organizes conferences and exhibitions from Rome to the United States to explain that Islamic philosophy offers a metaphysical vision of the world, and that philosophy belongs to God and not to man. He is working to merge the synergies of arts, philosophy and technology. His emphasis on sourcing all artistic and philosophical endeavours to the holy Qur’an and God makes it all the more fascinating.

Urgent appeal on the pending execution of nine Iraqi women

August 1, 2009 at 11:34 am | Posted in Turkmens | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , ,

  Women Solidarity for an Independent and Unified Iraq   


 Contact number: 0798961380



Urgent appeal on the pending execution of nine Iraqi women


On July 29 and 30, a delegation organized by the group “Woman Solidarity for an Independent and Unified Iraq” delivered an urgent appeal to a number of Arab League countries through their embassies in London.  They were received by diplomats in Syrian and Qatari embassies and by officials in the Egyptian, and Saudi Arabian embassies.  Copies of the appeal were sent to members of the British and European parliaments and to American human rights organisations.  The appeal is for an urgent intervention to stop the imminent execution of nine Iraqi women.  The letter, in Arabic, is translated below in English:




We appeal to you regarding an urgent humanitarian issue: the imminent execution of women in Iraq. The death sentences on the women have been issued in the exceptional circumstances still generally described as “the war in Iraq,”  


The latest we know in this regard is the urgent appeal made on 23d July 2009 by Amnesty International to stop the execution of nine Iraqi women.


International human right and civil society organisations do not accept that Iraqi courts can, in the current conditions, guarantee justice and fairness.

This is especially the case following widespread evidence that some of the prisoners, including these women, have been tortured. The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) has confirmed in its July 2008 report that proceedings in Iraqi criminal courts lack the minimum standards of fair trials.  UNAMI called the Iraqi Government to investigate all the stages of imprisonment and trial before carrying out sentences.


We remind your Excellency that the executions are imminent, and that three women have been executed in June this year alone. The officially declared total number of death sentences already carried out on men and women by the Iraqi authorities since 2004 stand at one thousand. There are no official figures for those awaiting execution. 


Our appeal to you is based on our conviction:


  • that Iraqi courts, in the current circumstances, are incapable of acting as an independent judiciary conducting fair trials based on the state laws.


  • that the execution of women in particular, is abhorred in Arab, Islamic and universal values, since women are the bearers of life and are the core of the family and society. Other means of retribution have been found over time for women when found guilty according to evidence.  Since the 1960’s Iraq and many other countries had abolished the death penalty for women;


  • that, in principle, the death penalty should be abolished in Iraq, as in most countries of the world, since the limited time of trial, no matter how long, does not provide the conditions for justice with certainty.  Errors in evidence or law cannot be corrected in cases of execution as they can be in all other sentences. In numerous known cases, the innocence of long-term prisoners was subsequently proven, and they were then compensated and legal procedures improved.


Iraqi women have suffered a massive historical injustice in recent years.  Starting with the lack of security after 2003, whether in physical survival or decent living, a million of them then turned into widows caring for orphans and struggling without support to feed the children. More of them were turned to refugees in foreign land, or in the tents for the displaced in different parts of the country, with no hope in sight. These pending legal killings additionally strip women of their humanity as mothers, wives, daughters and sisters, and their own personal right to life.  Iraqi women deserve help and support not legal killing.


We call for your urgent humanitarian intervention, directly through the “Iraqi government” or through the foreign forces who still have their responsibilities as part of the occupation, or indirectly through civil organisations, to stop these executions.  If successful, this will save the lives of entire families, and will, at the same time, clearly express your position on the status of women and the concept of justice. 


With deep appreciation


Nidhal al-Tabatabai (Engineer), Maha al-Shakarchi (Researcher), Dr. Nawal al-Obeidi (Geologist), Dr. Beatrice Boctor (Doctor), Intisar Ubaydi (Pharmacist), Rana Al-Shabibi (Lawyer), Henriette Khoury (Pharmacist), Malak Hamdan (Engineer), Tahrir Numan (activist), Thuraya Mohamed (Teacher), Sawsan Assaf ( Academic), Lamees Ibrahim ( Microbiologist), Haifa Zangana (writer). 


Continue Reading Urgent appeal on the pending execution of nine Iraqi women…

UN Fourteenth Report on the Human Rights Situation in Iraq

April 30, 2009 at 9:10 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: ,
  United Nations Press Release




29 April 2009
BAGHDAD / GENEVA The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) issued today its fourteenth report on the human rights situation in the country covering the period from July to December 2008. The report, produced in cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, notes that although the period covered was characterised by further improvements in security, the overall human rights situation in Iraq remains a matter of concern.

Continue Reading UN Fourteenth Report on the Human Rights Situation in Iraq…

Iraqi lawmaker disputes claims that he ordered attacks

February 24, 2009 at 2:48 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

By Trenton Daniel | McClatchy Newspapers

BAGHDAD — An Iraqi lawmaker on Monday blasted accusations that he’d ordered mafia-like murders, charging that the case was politically motivated because of his hard-line stance on human rights issues.

The Iraqi military says that Sunni Muslim Arab lawmaker Mohammed al Dayni orchestrated a string of deadly attacks that ranged from burying his rivals alive to hiring a suicide bomber who killed one person and wounded 22 others in a cafeteria in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone.

“The injustice against us is because of our national positions,” Dayni said at a news conference in the Iraqi parliament, referring to his advocacy work. “We knew that we were going to pay a price for that.”

Parliament members soon will have to decide whether to lift the immunity that Dayni has as a lawmaker. Dayni, who’s from Iraq’s Diyala province, belongs to the Sunni-led National Dialogue Front.

His rebuttal came a day after Iraqi authorities announced at a news conference that they’d issued an arrest warrant alleging that Dayni was the chief architect of several deadly attacks on the Green Zone. The Iraqi military based the warrant on statements given by two former bodyguards of Dayni’s, one of whom is his nephew.

Continue Reading Iraqi lawmaker disputes claims that he ordered attacks…

Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.