A delegation of international women’s activists met on Monday with Gihan Indraguptha, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, to discuss the unresolved murder of Nagihan Akarsel. Akarsel, a Kurdish journalist and researcher, was killed in Sulaymaniyah in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), on 4 October 2022.
The delegation, led by the European Kurdish Women’s Movement (TJK-E) and the Jineology Academy, presented a letter signed by over 300 individuals including activists, politicians and journalists, from 51 countries. The letter calls for the prosecution of those responsible for Akarsel’s murder and other political killings.
The delegation included Agnes Golfier, Deputy Director of the Danielle Mitterrand Foundation, Sarah Marcha from the Brussels Jineology Centre, and Sultan Şafak and Özlem Öztürk from the Swiss Kurdish Women’s Movement (YJK-S).
The letter, which will also be sent to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, European Council President Charles Michel, and Iraqi Prime Minister Mihemed Shia’ Al-Sudani, highlights the lack of legal action taken to date. It points out that the suspected perpetrator, Ismail Peker, a Turkish citizen, has not been prosecuted, and neither the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) nor the Iraqi authorities have taken steps to throw light on the forces behind the killing.
The delegation urged all relevant international institutions to take immediate and effective action. Their demands include the prosecution of those responsible for Akarsel’s murder, the closure of Iraqi and Syrian airspace to Turkish military aircraft, and pressure on Turkey to cease its unlawful attacks on Kurdistan regions across various state borders.
The letter will also be delivered to UN offices in Geneva, Beirut, Qamushli (Qamişlo), Makhmour (Mexmûr) and Strasbourg. A meeting with Gurdip Sangha, of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), is scheduled for 4 October.