Conference against Turkish use of chemical weapons says to EU that 'Silence is complicity'

A conference about the use of chemical weapons by Turkey in Kurdistan was held in Geneva. "Silence is complicity," said most panellists.

A conference was organized by the Initiative Against Chemical Weapons in Kurdistan at the University of Geneva to expose the use of chemical weapons by Turkey in Kurdistan.

Radical Left Coalition EAG parliamentarian Stéfanie Prezioso, Federal Deputy and Swiss Parliament Kurdish Friendship Group co-spokesperson Carlo Sommaruga, Dr. Abbas Mansouran from Southern Kurdistan and Ramazan Baytar on behalf of the Democratic Kurdish Community Center spoke at the conference. A video message was sent by a representative located in Medya Defense Areas, in South Kurdistan.

'We documented chemical attacks'

Dr. Abbas Mansouran said that chemical weapons have been used by Turkey in various areas of Kurdistan, from South to Rojava, and underlined that they were used in Serêkaniyê in 2019. "These attacks were carried out as a reflection of the concessions made to Erdogan during the Trump era," Mansouran said.

"We also conducted investigations in many regions, especially in Til Temir and Hesekê. Our investigations revealed the fact that chemical weapons were used, and we documented this and shared it with the world public at that time. These documents were shared with the United Nations Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). We shared it at a conference we held in Paris."

'Kurdish people under threat of new massacres'

Carlo Sommaruga pointed out that they are aware of the attacks against the Kurdish people and that the Kurdish people are living under difficult conditions under the threat of new massacres and added: "I am here to show my solidarity with the Kurdish people."

Stating that they formed a Kurdish Friendship Group in the Federal Parliament in order to make the Kurdish people's struggle visible, Sommaruga drew attention to the fact that since 2016, the Kurdish people have been targeted by the Turkish state with special weapons, disregarding human rights. "The attack by ISIS mercenaries, supported by the Turkish state, against the prison where ISIS detainees are located in Hesekê and the response to the attack did not receive enough coverage in the world press. I would like to reiterate my condemnation of these events."

Pointing out that the international community was content with warnings against the use of chemical weapons and that the necessary sanctions were not implemented against the Turkish state, Sommaruga said that the silence of the world states against these crimes against humanity directed against the Kurdish people is unacceptable.

He added that if this silence continues, "new attacks can be expected in South Kurdistan and Rojava. We submitted proposals to the Federal Parliament to investigate this issue and implement the necessary sanctions. However, the silence continues. We have not yet received a response to our proposal."

Stéfanie Prezioso said that the main reason for the silence of the European countries against these wars and crimes against humanity is due to the commercial interests of the EU countries. Prezioso said: "We will continue to speak out and push these forces, who remain silent about this situation, which is against international law. We will show them that the Kurdish people are not alone. While doing this, we will continue to expose the Erdogan regime and the mercenary groups it supports. The European public opinion is obliged to take action immediately against this regime. This is what the law requires."

Ramazan Baytar said: "The fact that the Turkish state used chemical weapons in both Afrin, Serêkaniyê and Gîre Spi has been proven by documents. Despite this, the Geneva conventions against this crime against humanity are not fulfilled. Instead, the PKK, which has been waging a struggle for 40 years, is being targeted."

Stating that the evacuation of 3500 villages back in the ‘90s is in total violation of the Geneva Convention, Baytar said: "The incalculable crimes against humanity committed against the Kurdish people have no place in international law."

The conference continued with the broadcasting of a video message, in which a representative from Medya Defense Areas spoke about the ongoing resistance against these inhuman attacks.

Speaking to ANF on behalf of the Initiative Against the Use of Chemicals in Kurdistan, Pierre Peatelli said that they will continue to expose Turkey and its war and crimes against humanity in the international arena.