Turkey's curfews collective punishment of Kurds: Amnesty
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (K24) – On Thursday, Amnesty International (AI) said that Turkey's imposition of weeks-long, round-the-clock curfews in Kurdish cities amounted to collective punishment.
According to the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT), Turkish authorities ordered 54 curfews in 18 Kurdish towns between August and mid-December 2015.
In a statement released on its website, AI called the Turkish military operations in Kurdish towns and neighbourhoods an "onslaught" and warned that the measures taken have put the lives of up to 200,000 people at risk.
Last month, two Kurdish lawyers appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on behalf of a client in the town of Cizre over allegations of inhumane house confinement by Turkish authorities. The lawyers demanded an interim injunction from the court to order Turkey to lift the curfew.
Two weeks later, in mid-January the court rejected the appeal, asking for more evidence.
Turkish human rights organizations announced that hundreds of civilians were killed in the clashes between the Turkish army and the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H), the youth wing of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Meanwhile, Amnesty International reported that tens of thousands of people faced "extreme hardships as a result of harsh and arbitrary measures," by Turkish authorities.
AI noted that Turkish police and army employed heavy weapons and snipers in residential areas, endangering the lives of civilians.
Turkish authorities have not allowed observers from human rights organizations and bar associations to enter the curfew-hit towns, making it difficult to assess the humanitarian situation, AI reported.
The human rights organization also accused Turkish authorities of threating and harassing people who speak up about the harsh situation of civilians.
Editing by Ava Homa