Decades long persecution of Kurds – An Overview

kurdistanBy Aso Fotoohi

  Kurdistan refers to a geographical area in Middle-East of which the residents are predominantly Kurdish people. The land of Kurdistan- has been divided between four countries Iran, Turkey, Iraq and Syria.

In Iran, the majority of the population are Persian, In Iraq and Syria Arab, and in Turkey Turks. This makes Kurdish people fall into the category of ethnic minorities in all these countries. As an ethnic minority, Kurdish people have been completely marginalised and excluded from any sort of social and political power. Furthermore, for centuries, the central governments of Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria have put a great effort to ethnically cleanse out Kurdish people. Not only the central governments, but also the other socio-political dominant powers within these countries have been institutionally discriminated Kurds.

All the social and cultural institutions and powers including education, media, military and political forces have been recruited to ethnically cleanse Kurdish people in Middle-East. Let us not forget that we are talking about a population of 40 million Kurdish people which is a fact that makes it more and more difficult for the oppressors to deny their human rights as an ethnic minority. However, during the history of Middle-East, the central governments have shown no hesitation in using all sorts of actions, although against the very fundamental principles of human rights, to oppress and marginalise Kurdish people. These include military attacks on unarmed people and massively executing innocent people in different historical periods. To name a few, the Anfal campaign which was led by Saddam Hussein in Iraq was particularly aimed to cleanse out Kurdish ethnicity. The Anfal campaign began in 1986 and lasted until 1989; it included the use of ground offensives, aerial bombing systematic destruction of settlement mass deportation, firing squads and chemical warfare  which earned al-Majid the nickname of “Chemical Ali”. Thousands of civilians were killed during the anti-insurgent campaigns stretching from the spring of 1987 through the fall of 1988. The attacks were part of a long-standing campaign that destroyed approximately 4,500 Kurdish and at least 31 Assyrian villages in areas of northern Iraq and displaced at least a million of the country’s estimated 3.5 million Kurdish population.

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Global Threats to Freedom of Religion or Belief: Panel and Luncheon Featuring Special Rapporteurs Heiner Bielefeldt and Rita Izsák

Originally posted on NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief:

The NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, in collaboration with the International Center for Law and Religion Studies of Brigham Young University, will host a discussion and luncheon on Thursday, October 23, 2014, featuring the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, and the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Rita Izsák. The discussion will center on global threats to freedom of religion or belief, especially for religious and nonreligious minorities.

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Global Minorities Alliance calls for equality for LGBTI Community worldwide

For Immediate use

Global Minorities Alliance calls for equality for LGBTI Community worldwide

Johannesburg, South Africa: A Glasgow based human rights organisation calls for the societal change in a fight for the rights of the persecuted LGBTI community in South Africa and worldwide.

During the recent lecture at the Johannesburg’s Monash University Campus, the representative of Alliance, a Johannesburg- based human rights activist Cleora Broens, raised awareness about the challenges of African women that are being hounded by their male counterpart due to their sexual orientation.

In 1996, South Africa became the first country in the world to promulgate anti discriminatory law of homophobia however, like many other countries around the world LGBTI community face unprecedented challenges and hostility every day due to their sexual orientation.

It is estimated that nearly 80 countries around the world where LGBTI members face criminal sanctions and subject to all kinds of humiliation and persecution.

During the lecture Miss Broens said: “Corrective rape (subject to gay community in a bid to ‘cure’ them) has spiked in the recent past which is causing issues for the communities already torn apart with issues like economic deprivation and discrimination. She said, that more than 10 lesbians are gang raped weekly.

GMA's representative-cleora-broens-middle-with-students-of-international-relations-at-monash-unviersity

GMA’s representative-cleora-broens-middle-with-students-of-international-relations-at-monash-unviersity


The event was attended by University students of International Relations who later quizzed about the various ways South African society can come forward to stop this discrimination against the gay community in Africa.

It is estimated that at least 500 lesbians become victims of corrective rape every year in South Africa and that 86% of black lesbians in the Western Cape live in fear of being sexually assaulted.

Victims of corrective rape are less likely to report it because of the negative social view of homosexuality.” said Miss Borens.

Global Minorities Alliance Chief Executive, Manassi Bernard, said that “Human rights are for everyone and we need to step up our efforts both on the societal, and International levels to root out any discrimination by raising awareness as well as reaching out to the communities through effective grass root projects”.

We are committed as an organisation to fight against all forms of prejudices and injustices against all communities to demand fair, equal and fundamental rights for everyone” Mr Bernard further maintained.

Earlier this year, Global Minorities Alliance organised a talk during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow University to highlight human rights abuses in the Commonwealth Countries and demanded for equal rights and protection where communities are torn apart with institutional or societal prejudice.