To the International Institutions and Foreign Ministries of States
The views and demands of the Kurdistan Parties and Institutions about Covid-19 Pandemic
We, the signatories listed beneath this letter, are the Kurdish, Assyrian, Arab, Turkmen, Ezidi peoples of Kurdistan, believing in different belief systems, such as Alevism, Islam, Christianity, and Yesidism, and belonging to women and youth institutions, non-governmental organisations, and political parties of Europe, would like to bring our common views to your attention.
Especially for the last two months, we have been mobilized in all countries we have been living against the Covid-19 epidemic, which has influenced all humanity. We recall the basic common human values such as solidarity and collaboration, and we strive to fulfill their requirements. Although, as of now, in depth discussions and analysis cannot be made about how the one of the deadliest virus of the history emerged and spread, it is an indisputable truth that the main reason that millions of people have come together is the deteriorating balance of nature, ecological destruction and climate change.
The current world system, which surpasses the limits of being sustainable, has undergone a comprehensive reform and during this time it has become a necessity for all of us to survive. It is precisely in such an environment that the Kurdish peoples that have survived in the past century and in recent decades despite many genocidal attacks, are facing a great danger today once again.
As organisations, structures and parties with different political views, we want to share our common views regarding the current pandemic with you. Our request from you is to protect the basic rights of our people to life by acting urgently on the following issues. It is in this this context that you must prevent the disasters and human drama that are occurring and will continue to occur due to the coronavirus epidemic.
For this purpose, we demand that you establish diplomatic relations with these countries and ensure that humanitarian aid is provided to an extensive degree to our people in Maxmur, Shengal, Sahba and Rojava.
PRISONERS IN TURKEY
The Covid-19 pandemic has taken over the world. Indiscriminate of nationality, belief, gender and geography, all humanity is under the threat of Coronavirus. However, it is clear that this epidemic specifically threatens some communities and societies greatly. Our elderly people with weakened immune systems and those with chronic diseases are more vulnerable to the virus than any of us.
Aside from inequalities in treatment opportunities, the situation of every free individual against the virus is roughly the same. They have access to call local doctors, pharmacies, family members; and have access from local community services. However, this is not the same for prisoners. The reality for prisoners is far worse. Thousands of prisoners kept in the prisons cells and are most vulnerable to the epidemic because of their limited space and opportunities. They do not have the freedom to decide what to eat or drink, the choice to stay away and carry out social isolation. The arrival of a possible Coronavirus case to any prison in Turkey would have the same effect as bringing a match light to a gas tank! The law enforcement prepared by the Turkish state is differentiating between prisoners. By not granting amnesty to political prisoners, the Turkish state is aiming at the execution of political prisoners.
Although the camp is under the so-called protection and maintenance of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, no apparent presence of UNHCR is felt by the community. Likewise, the Iraqi Government maintains its’ silence. Mahmur Refugee Camp has been isolated by the Government of Southern Kurdistan since 18 July 2019 until today. More than 12,000 people living in this camp are fighting for their lives under the absolute embargo of the
Kurdish Regional Government. With barely any access to medical assistance, the correct food or doctors, the camp has been neglected by almost everyone.
Just as the introduction of Coronavirus has dragged the whole world into a terrible disaster, our people living in Mahmur has faced twice the risk of disaster due to their disadvantaged political status in the Mahmur Camp. The danger for our people living in the Mahmur camp face is great and because of their living conditions, their health is now under constant threat.
Our Ezidi people living in Shengal/Sinjar face new dangers of genocide. Shengal is geographically surrounded and physically circled. Both Iraqi forces and Haşdi Şabi still maintain their presence there; on top of this the people of Shengal experience a serious embargo. Likewise, Turkey’s threats and many recent airstrikes to Sengal, the current embargo, and the Coronavirus situation are the heralds of new massacres against our people in Sengal.
The people of Shengal have come to this day by wrapping their wounds with their own efforts, by their own means and sources. However, if the international powers continue exhibiting the same attitude they had exhibited until today, this situation will bring new massacres towards our people in Shengal. Over 150,000 people currently live in Shengal and they are at great risk. Therefore, we cannot leave the people of Shengal to their own destiny!
NORTH / EAST SYRIA
The circumstances and facilities in the North and East Syrian Democratic Autonomous Administration areas which consist of seven regions, and has a population of approximately 5 million, are not at a level to meet the coronavirus outbreak. Although the circumstances and the facilities already limited for the residents of Autonomous Administration Areas of North and East Syria, there are also hundreds of thousands of refugees, primarily in the Cizre Region and in the Canton of Hesekê. While some of these refugees migrated from the regime-dominated areas of Syria to Autonomous Administration Areas, a significant part of them took refuge in these areas from Afrin, Serêkaniyê, Girê Spî and Til Temir, which were occupied by the Turkish state.
In addition to the tens of small camps, there are approximately 15 large refugee camps in the Democratic Autonomous Administration Areas. There are also two camps with tens of thousands of women and children, mainly families of ISIS members.
While Democratic Autonomous Administration takes simple measures in all its regions and in these refugee camps, with limited facilities, no aid has yet been received from world health institutions and humanitarian organisations in areas with hundreds of thousands of refugees and 15 large refugee camps. This means that thousands of people’s lives are put at risk by those refusing or neglecting to help.
Finally, while the whole world was dealing with the coronavirus, on March 21, the Turkish government cut off the water line distributed to Til Temir and city centers of the Hesekê Canton! Even this approach alone reveals the gravity of the situation, and the inhumane approach there is towards this region.
In the 74 villages of Şehba, liberated from ISIS and in the city of Til Rifat, approximately 100 thousand Şehba inhabitants and over 100 thousand Efrîn inhabitants live, who are both locals of these regions and from the Turkish- occupied Şehba areas. There are five refugee camps in Şehba, where the inhabitants of Efrin had to migrate from Efrin because of the Turkish occupation, and some of the refugees who had migrated to Afrin before.
Despite the fact that UNICEF stated on March 23 that an essential resource such as water could not be used within the framework of political and military interests and that the Elûk station closed by the Turkish state which used to meet 460 thousand people’s water needs, water is still not allowed to flow from the Elûk station.
As is known, Iran is the country where the virus spread the most and caused more deaths after China.
Although we are unable to obtain accurate information due to the international embargo and political chaos in the Iranian government, we are well aware of the tragedy our Rojhilat people have been experiencing. Eastern Kurdistan / Rojhilat is located in the west of Iran and has a population of 12-15 million. Rojhilat is under the embargo of both the Iranian administration as well as of the international powers. Under the Covid-19 pandemic conditions, it is
essential to urgently end the boycott and embargo policy. In this context, it is essential that urgent necessary health and food aid be provided with the end of the embargo.
The problems we mentioned above, the methods applied to our people and to the components of Kurdistan are against humanitarian law and are clearly in the form of international war crimes. The lives of our people who are exposed to embargos, sieges, attacks, and threats are now under the responsibility of states with military and political presence in the region, primarily the United Nations and the Council of Europe.
We urgently demand that international powers and organisations to intervene in this dangerous situation as soon as possible and that our peoples’ right to life is guaranteed.
Political parties and non-governmental organisations of Kurdistan in Europe:
European Kurdish Democratic Societies Congress) •
PUK ( Patriotic Union of Kurdistan )
Tevgêra GORRAN ( Change Movement )
KCDK-E (TJK-E ( European Kurdish Women Movement )
Kurdistan Comonist Party
Socialist Party – South Kurdistan
PADÊ ( Freedom and Democracy Party of Ezidis )
PYD ( Democratic Union Party )
P.D.K.S ( Democratic Kurdish Party in Syria )
Kurdistan Socialist Party in Syria
Kurdish Modern Movement of Syria
El Parti (Kurdish Democratic Party of Syria)
Kurdish Reformist Party of Syria
Social Democratic Party of Syria
PYDKS – (Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria)
Kurdish Reconciliation Party in Syria
Kurdish Reform Party in Syria
Kurdistan Green Party in Syria
Kurdistan Democratic Party in Syria
Kurdistan Communist Party in Syria
PÎK ( Kürdistan Islamic Of Party )
KKP ( Kurdistan Communist Party )
Tevgera KAWA ( Kawa Movement )
PJAK ( Free Life Party of Kurdistan )
Kurdistan Revolutionary Revolution
KODAR (Democratic Society and Freedom of East Kurdistan)
KJAR (East Kurdistan Women’s Society)
Kurdish Community in Stuttgart e.V
FEDA ( Alewi Federation in Kurdistan )
NAV- YEK ( Ezidi Federation Communities )
Kurdish Center in Berlin
CIK ( Kurdish Islamic Council )
Enstituta Kurdî – Almanaya ( Kurdish Institute in Germany )
Enstituta Kurdî – Bruksel ( Kurdish Institute in Brussels)
MŞD ( Shengal Assembly in Diaspora ) TAJ-E YMK ( Kurdish Teachers Association )
YES ( Syrian Ezidi Association )
Kurdish Community Brandenburg- Berlin
Umbrella organization of the Yezidi women’s councils
DKF e.V Dresden ( German- Kurdish Forum e,V Dresden )
Public Congress of Mesopotamia
Freedom Party of Mesopotamia
Kurdistan human rights Association