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Fear of forcible return/ fear of torture and ill-treatment/fear of death penalty
PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 14/001/2009
07 January 2009

UA 3/09 Fear of forcible return/ fear of torture and ill-treatment/fear of death penalty

IRAQ Shaheed ‘Abdulhussain ‘Abbas ‘Amouri (m), Iranian national, aged 37
Mohammed ‘Ali ‘Abdulzahra Hamad ‘Amouri (m), Iranian national, aged 30
Naji ‘Aboud ‘Obidawi (m), Iranian national

Shaheed ‘Abdulhussain ‘Abbas ‘Amouri, Mohammed ‘Ali ‘Abdulzahra Hamad ‘Amouri and Naji ‘Aboud ‘Obidawi are at risk of being forcibly returned from Iraq to Iran where they would face torture or even the death penalty.

The three men, Iranian nationals and members of the Arab Ahwazi community, are being detained in the city of al-‘Amara, south of Baghdad.

Shaheed ‘Abdulhussain ‘Abbas ‘Amouri and Mohammed ‘Ali ‘Abdulzahra Hamad ‘Amouri fled to Iraq in December 2007 and were arrested in the southern city of Basra. They were charged with entering Iraqi territory illegally, sentenced to one year’s imprisonment and transferred to al-‘Amara prison to serve their sentences. Shaheed ‘Abdulhussain ‘Abbas ‘Amouri and Mohammed ‘Ali ‘Abdulzahra Hamad ‘Amouri have completed their prison sentence and may be at imminent risk of being forcibly returned to Iran. They are said to have been sought by the Iranian authorities for organizing protests during widespread anti-government demonstrations in April 2005.
UN Security Council must not fail civilians caught in Gaza conflict
UN Security Council must not fail civilians caught in Gaza conflict
5 January 2009
ENGLISH
http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/un-security-council-must-not-fail-civilians-caught-gaza-conflict-2009010

In Urgent Letter, Amnesty International USA Appeals to Secretary Rice to End "Lopsided U.S. Response" to Gaza Crisis
2 January 2009
ENGLISH
http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?id=ENGUSA20090102001&lang=e

Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories: Immediate access to humanitarian workers and observers essential
31 December 2008
ENGLISH
http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/israeloccupied-palestinian-territories-immediate-access-humanitarian-wor
FRENCH
http://www.amnesty.org/fr/for-media/press-releases/israeloccupied-palestinian-territories-immediate-access-humanitarian-wor
ARABIC
http://www.amnesty.org/ar/news-and-updates/news/israelopt-immediate-access-humanitarian-workers-and-observers-essential-20081231
SPANISH
Asayish released offender is liable for the use of chemical weapons in Halabja
In 2009 began Monday in the town of Halabja with a very bad news.

Mohammad Tariq Ramadan was a military pilot, and participated in the chemical bombing of the town of Halabja March 16, 1988. He was a prisoner in Sileymaniyes prison, and awaiting his verdict. The prison in Sileymaniye controlled well by Asayish (Kurdistan security forces).
"Tariq Ramadan Mohammad escaped from prison. We were told this by Asayishs letter, "said judge Muhammad al-Uraiby in its public statement.
His escape from prison in Sileymaniye has raised many questions among ordinary people, and victims' families. We do not believe in Asayishs simple explanation on the matter. Tariq was supported by the Asayish to escape from prison. Asayish affected the matter after the political power of will in Iraq. It can not be hidden behind simple explanations, it refers to.

Human rights organization-CHAK planned many activities to Asayish.

"Kurdistan Regional Government must take responsibility. The fact of the matter must be investigated, and guilty persons in Asayish arrest. Tariq must be apprehended and punished for his role in Halabja, "said CHAKs spokesman.
On January 4, 2009 at 12.00 organized a demonstration against Asayish in Stockholm. "We will gather at the Iraqi Embassy in Stockholm, and protest Asayishs behaviour, and leaves our call to the embassy," said CHAKs spokesman.

EuroKurd Human Rights supports CHAK for it.

"Asayish criticized many times by human rights organizations for their inhumane treatment against prisoners, and conditions in prisons in Kurdistan. Kurdistan Regional Government- KRG must take responsibility and investigate. Tariq must be found and arrested ", said EHRs spokesman.

**--**--**

EuroKurd Human Rights - EHR

EuroKurd Human Rights is a non-profit organization working for human rights in Kurdistan . The organization is free from all political ideologies and economic interests.
The work is based on journalistic research work on the violation of these rights and international conventions governing rights.

EuroKurd collect and translate important texts for Kurdish to spread awareness among the public on its website.
EuroKurd establish contacts with organisations who cooperate with human rights.
Zarathustra News is Eurokurds news service. Zarathustra News is known for his research journalism, and good contacts with the Kurdish media, organisations and personalities.
www.eurokurd.net is a Web site and was used for EuroKurds purposes. Site content consists of news and analyses on human rights, and security issues in Kurdistan .
We look forward to continued good cooperation with you.

Sincerely
EuroKurd Human Rights
Stockholm
Asayish released offender is liable for the use of chemical weapons in Halabja
In 2009 began Monday in the town of Halabja with a very bad news.

Mohammad Tariq Ramadan was a military pilot, and participated in the chemical bombing of the town of Halabja March 16, 1988. He was a prisoner in Sileymaniyes prison, and awaiting his verdict. The prison in Sileymaniye controlled well by Asayish (Kurdistan security forces).
"Tariq Ramadan Mohammad escaped from prison. We were told this by Asayishs letter, "said judge Muhammad al-Uraiby in its public statement.
His escape from prison in Sileymaniye has raised many questions among ordinary people, and victims' families. We do not believe in Asayishs simple explanation on the matter. Tariq was supported by the Asayish to escape from prison. Asayish affected the matter after the political power of will in Iraq. It can not be hidden behind simple explanations, it refers to.
Human rights organization-CHAK planned many activities to Asayish.
"Kurdistan Regional Government must take responsibility. The fact of the matter must be investigated, and guilty persons in Asayish arrest. Tariq must be apprehended and punished for his role in Halabja, "said CHAKs spokesman.
On January 4, 2009 at 12.00 organized a demonstration against Asayish in Stockholm. "We will gather at the Iraqi Embassy in Stockholm, and protest Asayishs behaviour, and leaves our call to the embassy," said CHAKs spokesman.
EuroKurd Human Rights supports CHAK for it.
"Asayish criticized many times by human rights organizations for their inhumane treatment against prisoners, and conditions in prisons in Kurdistan. Kurdistan Regional Government- KRG must take responsibility and investigate. Tariq must be found and arrested ", said EHRs spokesman.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
EuroKurd Human Rights - EHR

EuroKurd Human Rights is a non-profit organization working for human rights in Kurdistan. The organization is free from all political ideologies and economic interests.
The work is based on journalistic research work on the violation of these rights and international conventions governing rights.
Asayish released offender is liable for the use of chemical weapons in Halabja
Asayish released offender is liable for the use of chemical weapons in Halabja

In 2009 began Monday in the town of Halabja with a very bad news.
Mohammad Tariq Ramadan was a military pilot, and participated in the chemical bombing of the town of Halabja March 16, 1988. He was a prisoner in Sileymaniyes prison, and awaiting his verdict. The prison in Sileymaniye controlled well by Asayish ( Kurdistan security forces).

"Tariq Ramadan Mohammad escaped from prison. We were told this by Asayishs letter, "said judge Muhammad al-Uraiby in its public statement.

His escape from prison in Sileymaniye has raised many questions among ordinary people, and victims' families. We do not believe in Asayishs simple explanation on the matter. Tariq was supported by the Asayish to escape from prison. Asayish affected the matter after the political power of will in Iraq . It can not be hidden behind simple explanations, it refers to.

Human rights organization-CHAK planned many activities to Asayish.

"Kurdistan Regional Government must take responsibility. The fact of the matter must be investigated, and guilty persons in Asayish arrest. Tariq must be apprehended and punished for his role in Halabja, "said CHAKs spokesman.

On January 4, 2009 at 12.00 organized a demonstration against Asayish in Stockholm . "We will gather at the Iraqi Embassy in Stockholm , and protest Asayishs behaviour, and leaves our call to the embassy," said CHAKs spokesman.

EuroKurd Human Rights supports CHAK for it.

"Asayish criticized many times by human rights organizations for their inhumane treatment against prisoners, and conditions in prisons in Kurdistan . Kurdistan Regional Government- KRG must take responsibility and investigate. Tariq must be found and arrested ", said EHRs spokesman
Pro-Kurdish Party Leader Apologizes to Armenians for 1915 Genocide
Pro-Kurdish Party Leader Apologizes to Armenians for 1915 Genocide
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted GMT 12-31-2008 Turkey's pro-Kurdish party leader apologized on Tuesday to Assyrian as well Armenians for the 1915 incidents.
"Maybe Kurds have contributed to the loss of this (cultural) richness. We are ashamed when we look at our Armenian or Assyrian brothers," said Ahmet Turk, the leader of pro-Kurdish DTP.

They are always ready to apologize for their mistakes and they struggle to allow people to live in peace, he was quoted as saying by the Dogan News Agency.

A group of Turkish academics, journalists and artists recently launched an Internet campaign to apologize on behalf of all Turks for ignoring what happened in 1915 at the time of the Ottoman Empire.

Armenians claim the Ottomans conducted "genocide" against them. However there are many historical documents showing that 300,000 Armenians, along with at least as many Turks, died in civil strife that emerged when Armenians took up arms, backed by Russia, for independence in eastern Anatolia.
www.hurriyet.com.tr
.H.A.K. in co-operation with
Lobby for the Minorities of Iraq adnankochar@hotmail.com Press Release Members of Parliament agree with CHAK on British Responsibility for the Plight of Iraqi Minorities We are pleased that Britain's responsibility for the situation of the Minorities of Iraq was forcefully made in last week's debate in Westminster Hall in the House of Commons(16th december). This was repeated time and again by several speakers, (who repeated the representations made by CHAK and our partners to them ) , including the Conservative spokesman for the Middle East. Several important points were made regarding the UK's attittude towards Minority Community refugees, including Britain's cruel policy of closed doors, the lack of use of Britain's influence in Iraq towards helping them,and the lack of any direct assistance to the Minority Iraqi refugees from the British government The government minister (Mr Bill Rammell) did say, in diplomatic language " We understand our responsibilities".The point of Britain's responsibility needs to be reinforced by persuading many more Members of Parliament to sign Early Day Motion 27 which emphasises this.This would increase the pressure on the government and prevent them from completely washing their hands of the legacy of their involvement in Iraq as the date of withdrawal nears. We in CHAK passionately believe in, and preach the brotherhood of all victims of Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide. We believe that culpable parties, as well as those who have assisted them, will eventualy have to make restitution for the terrible suffering of recent years. Admission of responsibility is just the first small step on this path.We are disappointed that the debate focused on only one of the minority groups, giving the impression that the Christians are unique in their suffering We encourage politicians to take a wider view. We are conscious of certain elements in British politics, who are attempting to create divisions among various victim groups. Let us aim to assist each other in our goal of the recognition of the crimes inflicted upon us and also in our search for justice and security for all our communities. Here are the most relevant contributions in the debate.(our comments in blue) Mr. Edward Leigh(Con):. ......we are sitting here in the presence of a British Minister, and there is no doubt that we have a responsibility in the matter. I. The British and American Governments have a responsibility, because there is no doubt that the position of Christians in Iraq has got immeasurably worse since the invasion in 2003....Mr. Leigh: That is right, and we bear a responsibility
Press release
Press release
CHAK, december 25, 2008

CHAK prepared a complaint against the Asayesh due to the escape of a perpetrator guilty in the chemical attack on Halabja.

The Halabja trail started with very bad news for the families of the victims of the Halabja massacre on 16 March 1988, when the judge, Muhammad al-Uraiby, said one of the perpetrators, Tariq Mohammad Ramadan, was not in the court due to his escape, as the Asayesh in Sulemany (the security forces of Sulemany) informed the Iraqi Court by letter.
Tariq Mohammad Ramadan was a war pilot, and participated in the chemical bombardment of Halabja on 16 March 1988. Sulemany security admitted that Ramadan had escaped and stated that he had run away two months earlier.
His flight from Sulemany had raised many questions among ordinary people and the families of the victims, as they did not rely on the simple explanation from the Asayesh and they guessed there were political deals behind the escape.
CHAK held the Kurdish regional government and the Asayesh of Sulemany responsible for this scandal, as they did not say anything before and now they attempted to simplify the escape without doing any serious investigation. CHAK did not discard the possibility of a political deal that could have several political aims.
CHAK is prepared to take the necessary judicial steps against the Kurdish Authority and the Asayesh of Sulemany by make a complaint against them both.
CHAK demands serious investigation, and prosecution of the guilty parties, as CHAK believes any political deal or deals in any form behind this scandal are a serious crime against the Kurdish victims of the chemical attacks and genocide.

The Center of Halabja against Anfal and Genocide (CHAK)
www.chak.be
Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) Statement
The Kurdistan National Congress held its ninth general meeting on 13 - 14, of December 2008, in Brussels, Belgium.


Of the 135 new members, 90 members from Kurdistan and the Diaspora participated from several countries including: America, Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Australia and Egypt. For those who missed the general meeting, the reasons were purely technical. But they sent their congratulations and support. Representatives of minorities in Kurdistan such as: Assyrians, Syriac and Chaldeans participated in the conference.

Many guests from Kurdistan and European countries attended the conference and presented their speeches.The general meeting has received letters and telegrams of support and congratulations from several political parties, cultural organizations, political figures and writers.


In addition to the former members and organizations, two organizations from the Kurdistan Federal Region joined as well as another two organizations from the Federal Kurdistan also attended the meeting as observers to the general meeting of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK).
Dr Arash Alaei (m), doctor
PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/181/2008
23 December 2008

Further Information on UA 216/08 (MDE 13/108/2008, 6 August 2008) Arbitrary arrest/Detention without charge/Possible prisoner of conscience

IRAN Dr Arash Alaei (m), doctor
Dr Kamiar Alaei (m), doctor, brother of Arash Alaei

Brothers Arash Alaei and Kamiar Alaei, both doctors specializing in the prevention and management of HIV and AIDS, have been charged with “cooperating” with an “enemy government”. The charge is vaguely worded and does not clearly define what constitutes “cooperation” or what is meant by an “enemy government”. The charge appears to be politically motivated and to relate solely to the brothers’ contact with international organizations as part of their work on HIV/AIDS prevention and management.

Amnesty International fears that the brothers may be prisoners of conscience. They could face between one and 10 years in prison if convicted. It is not known when they will face trial.
Witness to Genocide
Archeology Volume 62 Number 1, January/February 2009

by Heather Pringle


Forensic archaeologists uncover evidence of a secret massacre—and help convict Saddam Hussein of crimes against humanity

Archaeologists and physical anthropologists exhumed 114 victims of the Kurdish genocide from a mass grave in the center of Iraq's Muthanna province. Nine other mass graves nearby remain unexcavated. (Courtesy US Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District and the Regime Crimes Liaison Office)

In May 1988, a prison guard checked Taymour Abdullah Ahmad's name off a list and directed him to a bus idling in the Popular Army camp in Topzawa, southwest of Kirkuk. The camp was one of Iraq's grimmest prisons. During his month-long internment there, the 12-year-old Kurdish boy watched guards beating male prisoners senseless with lengths of coaxial cable. He had seen four children weaken and then die of starvation. He stood helplessly as a guard stripped his father to his undershorts and led him off to his death. So Taymour was not sorry to see the last of Topzawa. He did not know that the paper in the guard's hand was an execution list.

The buses idling in the prison courtyard looked like ambulances. But this, Taymour soon discovered, was a cruel illusion; inside, they were squalid mobile prisons. The boy, his mother, and two younger sisters were forced into a dark air compartment that reeked of urine and feces. There was no toilet, no food, no water, no way out. The only ventilation came from a small, mesh-covered opening. By the time the bus pulled out, 60 or so frightened passengers--mainly Kurdish women and their young children--were crushed together in the stifling heat.
Kurds call for execution of 'Chemical Ali'
Kurds call for execution of 'Chemical Ali'

Reuters Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hundreds of Iraqi minority Kurds today demanded the execution of a Saddam-era official known as 'Chemical Ali' for the killing of 5,000 Kurds in a 1988 gas attack.

Ali Hassan al-Majeed, a Sunni Arab who was Saddam's cousin and a member of his inner circle, has already been sentenced to death twice, once in 2007 for his role in killing tens of thousands of Kurds in Saddam's military 'Anfal' campaign.

Majeed and three other high-ranking officials accused of mounting attacks on civilians appeared at Iraq's High Tribunal at the opening of a trial for the March 1988 attack.

Prosecutors described how relatives of 483 plaintiffs were gassed to death in the Kurdish border town of Halabja.

Majeed's second death sentence came this month for his part in crushing a Shi'ite revolt after the 1991 Gulf War.

Disputes within the Shi'ite-led government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, however, have so far stalled Majeed's execution.

In Halabja, more than 200 km (120 miles) northeast of Baghdad, hundreds of Kurds waved banners and shouted for Majeed and his fellow defendants to be executed.

"We ask the court to execute Chemical Ali and to heal the wounds he caused by gassing our beloved," said Shereen Hassan, a Halabja housewife who took part in the protest.

"I will never rest until I see him hanged," said Peshtwan Qader.

At the time of the massacre, Iraq had been at war with Iran for almost eight years, and Saddam's government alleged Halabja residents were aiding Kurdish militants and siding with Iran.

Fouad Saleh, the town's mayor, urged the Iraqi government to pay victims' families compensation.

Majeed's Halabja trial will be headed by Judge Mohammed al-Uraibi, a Shi'ite jurist who also headed Majeed's first two trials, a court spokesman said.

Also charged in the case are Sultan Hashem, a former defence minister, and two intelligence officers. All the defendants are already facing life sentences or execution.

Majeed has been held in a US detention centre but is due like thousands of other detainees to be handed over to the Iraqi government under a security pact taking effect on January 1st US military officials in Baghdad on Sunday could not immediately confirm whether Majeed was still in their custody
Overview of Assyrian Slates Running in the 2009 Iraqi Provincial Council Elections
Overview of Assyrian Slates Running in the 2009 Iraqi Provincial Council Elections

GMT 12-23-2008 2:13:41
Assyrian International News Agency
To unsubscribe or set email news digest options, visit http://www.aina.org/mailinglist.html

(AINA) -- The Iraqi Provincial Councils elections will take place at the end of 2009. 440 seats in 14 Iraqi governorates are up for grabs. There will be no elections in the three Kurdish dominated governorates of Arbil, Dohuk (Nohadra), and Sulaimaniya at this time. The elections for the governorate of Kirkuk were postponed as well until the disputed areas issue is resolved. There is a considerable concentration of Assyrians (also known as Chaldean and Syriac) in Dohuk, Arbil, and Kirkuk who will not vote.
Dear Mr. Ismail Beshkchi,
Dear Mr. Ismail Beshkchi,

CHAK thanks you for your great efforts concerning supporting Kurdish rights and your first brave work on Kurdish rights in Kurdistan 47 years ago. We are thankful for your works and support to Kurdish issue greatly.

We are pleased to introduce our organization CHAK to and we hope you will have continuing relation to us. The Center of Halabja against the Anfalization and Genocide of the Kurds (CHAK) is an independent, Kurdish, civilian, non-governmental organization that works primarily on issues related to the mass killings and genocide committed against the Kurds. It works through democratic principles and uses peaceful means to reach its goals.

CHAK was established in 2002 in response to the vacuum caused by the absence of a reliable and neutral organization in connection to such issues as compensation to victim’s families and the prosecution of the perpetrators in the mass killings and genocide in Kurdistan, generally, and to the Anfal genocide in particular. In addition, there were no serious efforts aimed at putting a stop to Kurdish ethnic cleansing and genocide or at bringing these to the attention of the world community. These facts disappointed the Kurdish community, especially Kurdish intellectuals, and therefore the CHAK organization has been established and works to achieve the following objectives:

1. Bring the perpetrators of the mass killings and genocide to trail
2. Reveal the facts that facilitated the mass killings and genocide of the Kurds
3. Provide compensation for the victims of mass killings and genocide
4. Help the victims that suffer from disease and disability as a result of the mass killings and genocide
5. Help the family members of victims, especially the widows and children, of those killed
6. Work to find those victims who are still missing
7. Make the Kurdish mass killings and genocide world known
8. Contribute to preventing mass killings and genocide throughout the world
9. Fight against human rights abuses in the occupied Kurdistan regions and in other parts of the world
10. Work for a peaceful future for Kurdistan and the world in general

CHAK is member of several international organizations, such as Genocide Watch, Peace and cooperation, and it works with sister organizations for a better and peaceful world.

CHAK had played a great role in the trial of Dutch trader France Van Anraat in 2005; arranged several demonstrations and activities in many western countries and Kurdistan; working on recognition of the Anfal genocide on world level and preparing the same attempts concerning Dersim genocide.

We invite you to accept an honour membership in our organization. Mr. Gabar Çiyan knows us and in his way we could have some more information on you.


Best regards

The Center of Halabja against Anfal and Genocide (CHAK)
www.chak.be
A new book from EuroKurd Human Rights:

A new book from EuroKurd Human Rights:
"Kurds and Jews friendship and relations"


During the course of history Jews were targets of various rulers and powers. Persecution, threats, murder, deportation, and life in exile were their destiny. Some of the Jews moved then to Kurdistan.

Kurdistan is a multicultural society. They have different cultures and religions in the country. They lived together in the same country for several hundred years. Cultures influence each other, and language borrowed words from each other. It developed a country where all cultures have contributed to build and develop. Kurds and Jews, like many cultures in the region created together relationships, and friendship ...

Today was about 150-200 thousand "Jewish Kurds" or "Jews from Kurdistan" in Israel. The human brotherhood and friendly feeling is still living among the Kurds. And the love and longing of the Jewish Kurds to their home areas is great. Kurdistan is also their country ...

Gabar Çiyan is a journalist, and president of the organization EuroKurd Human Rights. He has interviewed many people, including Kurdish intellectuals, and people from Israel about "the Kurds and Jews friendship and relations". He combined all the interviews in their e-book. The book was published in Kurdish in the organization's website www.eurokurd.net . You can download, or copy from home without any fee.
CHAK welcomes the genocide sentence against Bagosora
Press release,
Saturday, December 20, 2008

CHAK welcomes the genocide sentence against Bagosora

On Thursday, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) sentenced a former army colonel accused of masterminding the massacre of 800,000 people in Rwanda in 1994 to life in prison. ICTR had accused the 67-year-old perpetrator, Theoneste Bagosora, of being in charge of the troops and the Interahamwe Hutu militia who butchered 800,000 Tutsis in 100 days. According to the verdict, Colonel Bagosora is guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

CHAK welcomes the finding and regards it as a significant step toward justice. The verdict helps to further preventive efforts in the region and around the world. Furthermore, CHAK believes that all perpetrators of ethnic cleansing and genocide must stand trail in unbiased special international tribunals without distinction. This is what the victims need.
On this occasion, CHAK asks that the international community help stop the killing of the defenceless people of Darfur , and bring the perpetrators to trail.

The Center of Halabja against Anfal and Genocide (CHAK)
www.chak.be
chak_org@yahoo.com
Iraqi Christians Flee Gunmen for Sanctuary of Monastery
Assyrian International News Agency
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Irbil, Iraq -- In peaceful times, the cool mountain air and breathtaking views afforded by the ancient monastery of Mar Matti provided a congenial day trip for the local people. Clinging to the upper slopes of a steep escarpment, its ancient stone walls echoed to the hushed tones of Aramaic hymns and the Orthodox mass.

But the tranquil life of Mar Matti's black-robed monks has been shattered by the arrival of hundreds of Christians fleeing a campaign of persecution in Mosul, just 20 miles away.

Their homes raided, their priests attacked and their relatives murdered, Assyrian and Chaldean Christians have become the latest victims of violence in the city, once the most cosmopolitan in Iraq.
Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand (m), human rights defender, journalist
PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/179/2008
19 December 2008

Further Information on UA 171/07 (MDE 13/081/2007, 4 July 2007) and follow-up (MDE 13/091/2007, 19 July 2007; MDE 13/127/2007, 1 November 2007; MDE 13/071/2008, 21 May 2008 and MDE 13/086/2008, 25 June 2008) - Fear of Torture/ Prisoner of conscience/ Medical concern

IRAN Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand (m), human rights defender, journalist

Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand is believed to have suffered a heart attack on 17 December. He was taken to the medical facility in Evin Prison, but no doctor was available as it was a national holiday in Iran. Amnesty International is concerned that he is not receiving adequate medical care.

Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand has been in poor health for some time. Earlier in December 2008, he was examined by a prison doctors who noted that he was suffering from dizziness and unstable blood pressure, and that existing problems with his kidneys and prostate were worsening. He is believed to have been seen by a heart specialist and an urologist while in prison. In May 2008, he collapsed in prison and was unconscious for about 30 minutes.

In recent months, doctors at Evin Prison had requested that Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand be granted specialist treatment. However, the prison authorities have not permitted him to receive medical care outside prison. Article 229 of the Prison Regulations stipulates that a prisoner suffering from a serious medical condition whose condition cannot be treated inside prison, or whose condition will worsen if they stay in prison, should be released by the prison authorities for one month’s medical leave, renewable, on the recommendation of a doctor and with the agreement of the Prison Director.
IRAN Farzad Kamangar (alias Siamand) (m), aged 32, teacher trade unionist]
PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/176/2008
18 December 2008

Further Information on UA 147/08 (MDE 13/075/2008, 30 May 2008) and follow-up (MDE 13/094/2008, 11 July 2008) - death penalty / torture and ill-treatment

IRAN Farzad Kamangar (alias Siamand) (m), aged 32, teacher trade unionist]
Ali Heydariyan (m) ] members of Kurdish minority
Farhad Vakili (m) ]

On 24 November, prison guards entered Farzad Kamangar’s cell in Section 209 of Tehran’s Evin prison. It is reported that the prison guards beat Farzad Kamangar, threatened him with execution, and took him out of the cell, along with some of his personal belongings. Later that day, another prisoner reported seeing him in the prison clinic, apparently unconscious. Farzad Kamangar is now believed to have been returned to his cell. .

In Iran, the removal of a detainee from their cell often signals that the person may be executed imminently. Amnesty International is therefore concerned that despite a review of his case being underway, Farzad Kamangar remains at risk of execution.

Farzad Kamangar was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence officials along with two other members of the Kurdish minority, Ali Heydariyan and Farhad Vakili, in Tehran around July 2006. The three men were sentenced to death on 25 February 2008 after being convicted of “moharebeh” (enmity towards God), a charge levelled against those accused of taking up arms against the state, in connection with their alleged membership of the armed group, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Ali Heydariyan and Farhad Vakili also received additional sentences of 10 years’ imprisonment for forging documents. Under Iranian law, they must serve their prison sentences before being executed. The death sentences of all three men were upheld by the Supreme Court. However, Farzad Kamangar's lawyer has submitted his case to a judicial review panel in an effort to have his death sentence overturned. Under Iranian law, death sentences cannot be carried out while under review.
- Yezidis situation in Kurdistan – Interviews
Mecîd HESO

Born in 1967 in Southern Kurdistan. In 1986, read high school in Duhok. Studied economics at Baghdad University (1990). Did master's degree in economics at the Free University of Dan Hague, Holland (2007).
He was editor of the magazine Pela Serbest (freedom game) in DUHOK, the magazine Lalish in DUHOK, the newspaper Kurdistan in Germany, and is the owner of the magazine Today's Kurdistan (Kurdistan IRO) of Germany. He is a columnist for www.lalish.de ...
Heso is a member of the Kurdistan Institute for Science and Research in Germany, Kurdish PEN Center, a director of Mala Ezidiyan Berlin, head of Center of Halabja-Chaka in the area of Berlin ...

How many Yezidis are there in the world?
The number Yezidis is unfortunately not known because there is no clear statistics. The number of terms they Yezidis in the current Kurdistan (parts of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria). Today living around 650.000-700.000 Yezidis in Kurdistan. The number Yezidis throughout the world is about. 1 million people. In addition to Kurdistan, there are a large number of Yezidis in a part of Russia, Georgia, and Armenia.
News from the KNC Public Relations Committee Kurdish National Congress of North
Leyla Zana Sentenced Again!

(California, December 11, 2008). Using its inherited racist Constitution, Turkey is renewing its prosecution of peaceful prominent Kurdish political figure Leyla Zana. Mrs. Zana once again has been sentenced, this time for 10 years by the Turkish Court for violating the Turkish "Penal code and anti-terror law."
According to the unsubstantiated charges against her, Mrs. Zana had expressed her support for "terror" in the past. Mrs. Zana's struggle for social justice for citizens of Turkey has been recognized in international circles when she was awarded the "European Human Rights Prize Winner." It is hard to see how the Turkish government legitimizes such a harsh sentencing of Mrs. Zana who has been a champion for finding a peaceful solution to the Kurdish plight in Turkey.
Lobby for the minorities of Iraq and CHAK
London Kurds support initiative for the Iraqi minorities


A crowd of nearly a hundred people, including many London-based Kurds crowded into a House of Lords Room in the UK Parliament on Tuesday, 9th December to put the case for urgent action by the UK government to address the issues facing the minority communities of Iraq. Faylee Kurd, Mandaean and Christian representatives urged the government to help the situation by putting more pressure on the Iraqi government to provide adequate security, and by accepting more refugees (at least temporarily) from the minority communities in this time of crisis. The Yezidis and Shabaks were not forgotten as the CHAK director put forward their case. He also announced a proposal for Minorities-Kurdish dialogue.
CHAK named their detained activists in Kurdistan
CHAK named their detained activists in Kurdistan
KurdishMedia.com 15/12/2008 00:00:00
London (KurdishMedia.com) 15 December 2008: CHAK branch UK received the names of their detained members by the Kurdish security forces or Asayish in the city of Sulemani, KurdishMedia.com was informed by the CHAK UK activists.

The detained activists are Mohammad Bakr, Karwan Salar, Taha Serspi, Mesture Mohammad and Hemin Hamaali.

“They are in prison without any legal orders. The behaviour of Asayish staff with the detainees has not been good,” CHAK activist Adnan Kocher told KurdishMedia.com on Sunday.

CHAK issued a public statement in which stated, “The CHAK members were detained, by Asayish in the city of Sulemani, for condemning the Turkish and Iranian bombardment. Those activists wrote a statement, wherein they condemning the bombardment against Kurdish civilian villagers and demanded immediate stop of the bombardment. Their guilt was only the distribution of the statement among ordinary people in Sulemani. The Kurdish Regional Government proclaiming democracy, but arresting people on a single statement unlawfully!”
“CHAK is worried on the life of these members and there can be unjust acquisitions and sentences, as CHAK knows the non-independency of the Kurdish courts,” the statement claimed.
KurdishMedia.com 15/12/2008 00:00:00
EuroKurd Human Rights
Asayishs inhuman treatments must be stopped!

The Kurdish Asayish (Kurdish security forces) in Sulemani arrested (13 december 2008) several members of Chak organization to issue a public statement condemning the Turkish and Iranian bombardments of Kurdistan.

Sulemani controlled by the Iraqi president's political group, the PUK, and Asayish of Sulemani controlled by the PUK.

The arrested activists are: Mohammad Bakr, Karwan Salar, Taha Serspi, Mesture Mohammad and Hemin Hamaali. They are in prison without legal protection. Asayish personnel treatment against Chak members have not been good.
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF KURDISTAN (PSK)
THE ON-GOING PHYSICAL AND CULTURAL GENOCIDE

The rulers of Turkey are unaware of what century and what kind of world they live in as once again the latest developments have showed. As if they are behind times for a hundred years or even more. As if they are unaware of international law and the development of goodwill between different languages, cultures that became common value of humanity within the past century. Germany apologised to the Jews and the world public opinion about the genocide of the Jews. To make sure that it is not forgotten, genocide monuments erected in Germany and the concrete evidence of this tragedy, ensures that concentration camps are protected and open to the public. Putting it another way, Germany has confronted its history. Australia has apologised for what was done to its indigenous population, Aborigines, they too confronted their history.
Armenian Solidarity with the Victims of All Genocides
Nor Serount Cultural Association,
Seyfo Centre and CHAK (Centre of Halabja)
Press Release
A Recognition of the Armenian Genocide made public in the House Of Commons

The 60th anniversary of the United Nations Genocide Convention was marked in the House of Commons this week, on Tuesday 9th December 2008, by a public recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the Socialist Party of Kurdistan (PSK). Participating at the event were Professor Khatchatur Pilikian, author Desmond Fernandes, Akif Wan of the KNK and Adnan Kochar of CHAK.

The PSK statement read :

Turkey has not confronted its history and is adamant and stubborn in its behaviour. It is less than a century since the Armenian Genocide happened in front of the eyes of the world. This shameful act for humanity was condemned by the parliaments of many countries. Each time the Turkish government and its parliament has responded to these condemnations with anger. Excluding few conscientious intellectuals, the so called intellectuals and artists of Turkey have followed the footsteps of their politicians and tried to hide, deny, even falsify history and are using every trick in the book to blame the Armenians.
Thousands of Assyrians Rally in Sweden in Support of Besieged Monastery in Turkey
Thousands of Assyrians Rally in Sweden in Support of Besieged Monastery in Turkey

GMT 12-15-2008 5:1:30
Södertälje, Sweden (AINA) -- Nearly four thousand Assyrians gathered in the town of Södertälje on Sunday to protest the attempts by Muslim village leaders in south-eastern Turkey to confiscate lands belonging to the ancient Saint Gabriel monastery (AINA 12-2-2008, 9-16-2008). Representatives of major Swedish political parties, Assyrian organizations and bishops were present to convey a message of support to the 1600 years old monastery.
Assyrian representatives committed themselves to do whatever is necessary to stop the attacks against what they consider to be the last standing Assyrian Christian symbol in south eastern Turkey.
European politicians are standing by the Assyrians and the Saint Gabriel monastery (AINA 12-9-2008). The German ambassador to Turkey, Dr. Eckart Cuntz, visited the monastery (AINA 12-12-2008) and Swedish MPs Mats Pertorft and Yilmaz Kerimo are planning to attend the second court hearings which will begin on the 19 December.
Between 1914-1918 a genocide was perpetrated against the Assyrian population in northern Mesopotamia and especially in the areas of what is today south eastern Turkey. Turks and Kurds cooperated to wipe out the non Muslim population in the name of Jihad. Today only 3000 Assyrians remain in south-eastern Turkey. For many Assyrians today the attacks against the Saint Gabriel monastery are seen as a continuation of the 1914-1918 genocide, which Turkey still denies.

ZEIT ONLINE 13.12.2008 - 17:07 Uhr [http://www.zeit.de/online/2008/51/tuerkei-aussenpolitik-friedensvermittlung]
Turkish Academics Plan Apology To Armenia
Turkish Academics Plan Apology To Armenia
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted GMT 12-15-2008
ANKARA (Reuters) -- A group of Turkish intellectuals and academics are planning to issue a public apology on the Internet for the mass killings of ethnic Armenians in World War I.
The campaign, which has drawn the ire of nationalists who regard it as an act of national betrayal, coincides with a diplomatic rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia to end almost 100 years of hostility.
Turks, including Nobel Literature Laureate Orhan Pamuk, have been prosecuted in the European Union candidate country for affirming that the mass killings of Armenians in 1915 amount to genocide.
Cengiz Aktar, a professor at Istanbul's Bahcesehir University and one of the campaign's organizers, said the group plans to issue the apology on December 15 along with a non-binding Internet petition to gather signatures.
It will read: "My conscience does not accept the insensitivity showed to, and the denial of, the Great Catastrophe that the Ottoman Armenians were subjected to in 1915. I reject this injustice and for my share, I empathies with the feelings and pain of my Armenian brothers. I apologies to them."
Turkey accepts that many Armenians were killed during the waning years of the Ottoman Empire, but strongly denies Armenian claims it was genocide, saying that Muslim Turks also died in inter-ethnic conflicts. Western historians have backed Armenian claims that the killings amounted to genocide.
The apology, which has been leaked to the media, threatens to reignite a controversy that challenges one of the ideological foundations of modern Turkey. It also comes at a time of heightened nationalism in Turkey.
Aktar said the initiative was meant to allow Turks to offer a personal apology and to end an official silence. "We are not targeting anyone. It's an apology of individual nature. We want to tell our Armenian brothers and sisters we apologies for not being able to discuss this issue for almost 100 years," he said.
He said the group included 200 writers, intellectuals, and academics. The European Union has repeatedly criticized Turkey for restrictions on free speech, in particular over punishments writers have received for comments on the Armenian issue.
President Abdullah Gul became the first Turkish leader to visit Armenia in September as Turkey has sought to improve ties. Several meetings between Turkish and Armenian officials have followed and the two countries have expressed hopes of restoring full diplomatic relations soon.
CHAK demands the immediate release of its members arrested by the Asayish in Sulemani

CHAK demands the immediate release of its members arrested by the Asayish in Sulemani
The Kurdish Asayish (Kurdish security forces) in Slemani arrested several members of CHAK organisation for issuing a public statement condemning the continuing Turkish and Iranian bombardment of Kurdistan. Sulemani is controlled by the Iraqi president’s political group, the PUK, and the Asayish of Slemani belongs to PUK.
The arrested activists are: Mohammad Bakr, Karwan Salar, Taha Serspi, Mesture Mohammad and Hemin Hamaali. They are in prison without any legal orders based on any violations of security. The behaviour of Asayish staff against the detainees has not been good.
The CHAK members were detained, by Asayish in the city of Sulemani, for condemning the Turkish and Iranian bombardment. Those activists wrote a statement, wherein they condemning the bombardment against Kurdish civilian villagers and demanded immediate stop of the bombardment. Their guilt was only the distribution of the statement among ordinary people in Sulemani. The Kurdish Regional Government proclaiming democracy, but arresting people on a single statement unlawfully!
After the detentions CHAK issued a statement condemning the detention of the members in a public statement, and asked the Slemany Asayish to release the detainees immediately, but we are still waiting without any result.
CHAK is worried on the life of these members and there can be unjust acquisitions and sentences, as CHAK knows the non-independency of the Kurdish courts.
We ask all human rights activists and organizations to press the Kurdish Regional Government to release these human rights activists immediately.
CHAK is preparing for large protests across the world by different democratic means, should these members are not released soon.

The Canter of Halabja against Anfal and Genocide of the Kurds (CHAK)
www.chak.be
www.chaknews.com
chak_org@yahoo.com
IRAN Negin Sheikholeslami, (f) Human rights defender and journalist, aged 34
PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/175/2008
12 December 2008

Further Information on UA 280/08 (MDE 13/148/2008, 14 October 2008) Arbitrary arrest/Fear of Torture

IRAN Negin Sheikholeslami, (f) Human rights defender and journalist, aged 34

Negin Sheikholeslami was released from Section 209 of Evin Prison in the capital, Tehran, on bail of 500,000,000 rials, equivalent to almost US$50,000, on 23 November. During her detention, Negin Sheikholeslami was able to meet with family members twice.

Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran ordered Negin Sheikholeslami's release until her trial begins, for which no date has yet been set. There is no precise information available concerning what charges she may be facing, but many human rights defenders in Iran have faced vaguely-worded charges of “acting against state security”.

A human rights defender from the Kurdish minority in Iran, Negin Sheikholeslami was arrested at her home in Tehran on the night of 4 October. A guest who was staying with her was also detained for about an hour, and then released. Negin Sheikholeslami’s initial whereabouts were unknown, but her husband was told on 9 October 2008 that she was being held in Section 209 of Evin Prison, which is controlled by the Ministry of Intelligence. He was not told the reasons for her arrest and was informed that she would not be allowed to meet anyone until the investigation into her case was complete.
Contribution re. Leyla Zana to debate on European Affairs
Ann Clwyd MP

Contribution re. Leyla Zana to debate on European Affairs 09.12.08

I want to talk mainly about Turkey this evening. I want to do so because although I welcome Turkey ’s application to join the European Union and I hope that it is successful, there are certain conditions that must be met before it joins.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to give an address at the memorial service of a very notable Turkish politician who was the former Deputy Prime Minister of the country: Erdal Inonu. He was the son of a former President of Turkey, who followed Ataturk as the second President. I mention that because although it might appear from what I shall say today that I am only a critic of Turkey , I am in fact also a long-time friend of Turkey .

I chaired for three years the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s committee on the human rights of parliamentarians. Before that, I served on the committee for a further three years. At almost each session of the IPU conferences—which took place twice a year— Turkey would appear before our committee as one of the countries that was oppressing its own elected politicians. We had a long-running battle with the Turks on the issue of Kurdish politicians, who were put in prison for little more than the kind of freedom of expression that all of us as elected politicians take for granted. Eventually, some of those politicians were released, only to be charged again on various counts.

A few days ago, one of those politicians, Leyla Zana—the name may be familiar to Members who follow Turkish human rights matters closely—was sentenced again to 10 years in prison by a Turkish court in Diyarbakir . The court ruled that she had violated the penal code and the anti-terror law in nine speeches, one of which was given here in the House of Commons.
Lobby for the minorities of Iraq and CHAK
CHAK - 12/12/2008
London Kurds support initiative for the Iraqi minorities


A crowd of nearly a hundred people, including many London-based Kurds crowded into a House of Lords Room in the UK Parliament on Tuesday, 9th December to put the case for urgent action by the UK government to address the issues facing the minority communities of Iraq. Faylee Kurd, Mandaean and Christian representatives urged the government to help the situation by putting more pressure on the Iraqi government to provide adequate security, and by accepting more refugees (at least temporarily) from the minority communities in this time of crisis. The Yezidis and Shabaks were not forgotten as the CHAK director put forward their case. He also announced a proposal for Minorities-Kurdish dialogue.
It was proposed that all Minorities as well as Kurdish and Arab supporters in the UK co-operate to lobby the government to take action on this problem. One way that this will be done is to ask our MPs to sign the new Motion in the UK Parliament on the Minorities (EDM 27 - below)
Kurdish imagination
Forget the optimistic reports – the Kurds have embraced the work of a novelist who tells a different story
Kareem Abdulrahman A new Kurdish novel has put the last two decades of Iraqi Kurdistan's political and social life on the literary map. Ghazalnus w Baghakani Khayal (Ghazalnus and the Gardens of Imagination) by Bakhtyar Ali is an account of the growing conflict between the Kurdish authorities and the intellectual elite which also includes scenes of fantasy and meditation on the power of the human imagination. The main narrative follows a group of disparate people, led by a poet, on a journey to find the bodies of two lovers who have been killed by the Kurdish authorities. The group includes a Hollywood film buff, who is leading some blind children on an imaginary sea voyage, a woman fleeing domestic violence, who weaves a beautiful carpet at a women's shelter, and a former peshmerga (Kurdish guerrilla fighter), an assassin turned pacifist.
The present ethnic cleansing of the Minorities of Iraq- will Britain take some responsibility for a solution?
Part 2
The present ethnic cleansing of the Minorities of Iraq- will Britain take some responsibility for a solution?

in Room 2A of the House of Lords

on Tuesday, 9th December

6.30 p.m. till 8.00 p.m.

Co-organisers: "Lobby for the Christians and other Minorities of Iraq"
Centre of Halabja, (C.H.A.K.)
speakers:(all speeches will be brief)-
1 :Dr Layla Alrummi of the Mandaean Human Rights organisation
2 Researcher Nicola Craven on Mandaean refugees in Syria
3 Archbishop Toma Dawod,(Syriac Church) , Monsignour. Khoshaba Georges,(Ancient Church of the East) Fr Habib Jajou (Chaldean Church) Fr Nazar Semaan (Syrian Catholic Mission)--- one joint statement
4 Neville Kyrke-Smith, the National Director of Aid to the Church in Need UK
5 Adnan Kochar of CHAK (Halabja Centre) on Yezidis and Kurdish-Minority relations
6 The Syrian Ambassador HE Dr. Sami Al Kiyami on aid to refugees in Syria
7 Dr. Kajal Rahmani(Kurdistan Justice and Peace Academy, Boston, USA) on Yezisis and Shabaks
8 Mr Joe Obayda (Iraqi Christians in Need)
9 Suhail W. Michael (ICIN)
10 Dr Manera Omed (The oppression of the Failis)

Also in attendance: Alexander de Châlus (UNHCR)
Prof Gregory Stanton (President, International Association of Genocide Scholars)

A warm invitation to a landmark conference on Middle-East Minorities to mark the 60th
A warm invitation to a landmark conference on Middle-East Minorities to mark the 60th anniversary of the UN Genocide Convention, on Ttuesday, 9th December

"The struggle of the Kurds of Iran", monday, 8th december
Rahman Haj-Ahmadi, leader of the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PEJAC) announces the conference,
For info ring 07709435998

Part 1
"The Minorities of Turkey face continuing Cultural Genocide"

In Committee Room 17 of the House of Commons, London

at 12 noon, 9th december

Agenda:
1 The recent comments by the Turkish Prime Minister and Defence Minister

Prime Minister Recep T. Erdogan, on 4th November 2008 (at the press conference for the visit of the Lebanese Prime Minister, Fuad Siniora),said that "Turkey consists of one nation, one flag and one land and that anyone who is not in agreement with this should leave the country".
On the 10th november in Brussels,Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül celebrated the genocide of Armenians, praising the policy of what he termed the "deportation", because it allowed the construction of the Turkish nation. And he added: "Would it be possible today to maintain the same national State if the existence of Greeks in the Aegean region and of Armenians in several regions of Turkey had continued as before?"

2 The Human Rights of Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, Crypto-Armenians, Crypto-Assyrians

Speakers: Des Fernandes(Author of The Kurdish and Armenian Genocide)
Prof Khatchatur Pilikian
Akif Wan (KNK)
Rebwar Fatah (Kurdish Media)
Dr. Kajal Rahmani (Kurdistan Justice and Peace Academy, Boston, USA)
An Assyrian/Suriani speaker from Turkey

Sponsor and Chair : Dr. Bob Spink MP (Independent)

Co-organisers : Solidarity with the Victims of All Genocides,(SVAG)
Nor Serount Cultural Association
CHAK (Centre of Halabja)
supported by
Seyfo Centre

RSVP to eilian@nant.wanadoo.co.uk 07876561398 or 07718982732
Prevention and punishment are key — 60 th anniversary of the Genocide Convention
The ultimate responsibility for preventing genocide lies with states, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says on 9 December, as the world marks the 60th anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention).

The High Commissioner also emphasizes the need to punish genocide perpetrators.

“As in any justice system, we have to deal with the question of impunity. You cannot, for instance, prosecute an individual for stealing a loaf of bread and yet not prosecute individuals at the top who are responsible for the deaths and rapes of thousands of people – and that is the importance of criminal prosecution,” she says.
Darfur victims say ICC should focus on government officials (*)
Darfur victims say ICC should focus on government officials (*)
Darfuris Rail Against Possible Rebel Indictment By Katy Glassborow in The Hague and Tajeldin Adam in Belgium

People displaced by the Darfur conflict are urging prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) not to lose sight of those they view as the main perpetrators of atrocities in the region - the government.
The calls came after prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo recently asked judges to indict rebel commanders for an attack on African Union (AU) peacekeepers, known as AMIS, in Haskanita in September 2007, in which 12 peacekeepers were killed and eight injured.
The prosecutor's request is a significant shift for the ICC which has to date focused its attentions on the Khartoum authorities and regime-backed paramilitary groups.
In July, Ocampo requested an indictment for President Omar al Bashir for genocide in Darfur, and for instructing Sudanese armed forces and allied janjaweed militia to murder, forcibly transfer, torture, and rape Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa communities there.
War crimes tribunals undermanned
War crimes tribunals undermanned
Personnel crisis to jeopardise genocide trials?Thijs Bouwknegt - RNW International Justice Desk -

Genocide trials at the Rwandan and Balkan tribunals might be in jeopardy. They are facing a potential exodus of staff as the courts close their doors by 2010.
"International staff at the International Criminal tribunals for Rwanda (ICTR) and the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) are leaving at an alarming rate," says the staff department at the ICTY. The decline reflects the tribunals' mandate to complete their trials by 2010.
***
Many staff contracts at the ICTY are due to end in December, leaving numerous of the 1126 employees in insecurity. Most of them are already looking for a new job. Some 107 staff members quitted their jobs in 2006, 130 followed one year later.
The majority of well-experienced lawyers, investigators and translators at the tribunals are applying for jobs at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The ICC deals with the same subject matter: genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The key difference with the Balkan and Rwandan courts is that the ICC is permanent.

The Security Council says the ad hoc war crimes tribunals are too expensive. It's one of the reasons the courts have to close. The ICTY's budget for 2008 and 2009 is 310.952.100 US dollars (250 million Euros). Its Rwandan sister court is only a little cheaper.
The ICTY, which also tried former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, is still hearing 43 cases. It's yet to start the trial against former Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, while its most wanted suspect Ratko Mladic is among two war crimes indictees who are still on the run.
The ICTR in Arusha, Tanzania tries high level suspects from the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The tribunal is hearing cases against 29 genocidaires and is set to try 9 others. It is still tracking down 13 suspects in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Insiders say the war crimes courts' deadlines will not be met by the end of next year. UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon is concerned "that there may be difficulties in retaining and recruiting key staff as the tribunals complete their mandates". In a worst case scenario, some trials might be in serious jeopardy as there might be not enough personnel left in The Hague and Arusha to finish all the cases
'Darfur genocide continues'
Massive crimes are being committed in Darfur now; they are taking place because President Bashir wants them to take place." ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that Darfur's genocide continues.
"How long are we going to just tally the casualties, the displacements and the rapes?"

**
The International Criminal Court prosecutor told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that the court's judges will, "sooner rather than later", decide whether to call for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al Bashir. Ocampo accuses him of genocide in war-ravaged Darfur.
Cambodia genocide trial ready to start
There are no more obstacles to start the first war crimes trial at the Khmer Rouge genocide Tribunal in Cambodia. The former prison chief Duch faces extra charges, as his trial will start next year. He will not be tried for the overall conspiracy to murder, starve and torture 1.7 million Cambodians in the late 1970s.

Duch will be the first leader of Cambodia's genocidal regime in the 1970's to stand trial at the UN-backed tribunal. No date has been set yet.
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