To the kind attention of:
Mr. Christof Heyns
Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
The Hague, 5 March 2013
Subject: Urgent Appeal regarding the human rights situation of Iraqi Turkmens
On behalf of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), I present you this urgent appeal to bring your attention to the fast escalating human rights violations against the Iraqi Turkmen people in Northern Iraq.
UNPO is a democratic, internationally recognized, membership organization based in The Hague, the Netherlands. Its Members are indigenous peoples, nations and minorities who have joined together to protect their human and cultural rights, preserve their environments, and to find non-violent solutions to conflicts which affect them.
This appeal follows a series of attacks against ethnic Turkmen in Iraq, including an attack on 23 January 2013 in Tuz Khurmato at the funeral of a civil servant, in which at least 42 people were killed and a further 117 wounded.
Unfortunately, this is far from a unique occurrence. Attacks on the Turkmen have been increasing at an alarming rate in recent months – including the burning alive of two teachers – as tensions between the Arab and Kurdish populations in the disputed territories rise.
Below is a non-exhaustive list of atrocities committed against Turkmen people that have resulted with the death of individuals.
These lists are far from exhaustive, they are just highlighting the pattern of human rights violations inflicted on the mostly civilian population in Turkmen areas.
All these cases were reported by sources in Kirkuk, Mosul and Tuz police forces, in most cases
mediated by local news agencies. Police investigations were conducted, but they have remained unfruitful. All the evidence points out that the perpetrators were specifically targeting the Iraqi Turkmen population. There are escalating tensions between the Kurdish population and Turkmens.
The issues related to greater aspirations for autonomy in the region are most likely the source of these attacks.
All too often, the Turkmen community has been caught up in the collateral damage of this conflict and many Turkmen feel both marginalized and victimized by their fellow Iraqis.
The UNPO welcomes the statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton in which she
condemned the funeral attack in Tuz Khurmato. However, more needs to be done to specifically protect the Turkmen community, which has suffered disproportionately from violence in Iraq in recent times.
The Iraqi government has repeatedly pledged greater protection for the Turkmen community, but any action on the issue has not been forthcoming. The UNPO therefore humbly pleads to you to get acquainted with the specific cases of violations submitted and state your opinion, as the obligations of Iraqi government to the Turkmen community will not be fulfilled without external action of the international community.
This appeal has also been sent to Independent Expert on minority issues Ms. Rita Izsák.
We will gladly provide further information on the current situation should you need more details.
UNPO General Secretary
Office of the General Secretary
P. O. Box 85878 – 2508 CN The Hague – The Netherlands
Please click on the link below for non-exhaustive list of atrocities committed against Turkmen people that have resulted with the death of individuals.