The International Association of Democratic Lawyers called on the global judicial community to join their call on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for an independent investigation into Turkey’s alleged use of chemical weapons against Kurdish fighters.
The association’s petition calling for an investigation into the alleged use of chemicals in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) will remain open for signatories until 21 December.
The lawyers demand an independent investigation in light of the “serious findings, statements and images” that have been made public by the forces targeted by Turkey’s cross-border operations. “We urge member states of the OPCW to request an investigation to pave the way for an independent investigation by the OPCW,” they said.
Founded in October 1946 in Paris, The International Association of Democratic Lawyers is a Non-Governmental Organisation accredited to Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) and UNESCO.
On 18 October, the People’s Defense Centre (HSM) announced the death of 17 Kurdish guerrilla fighters by chemical agents, and released footage that they said depicted the effects of gases Turkey used on two of the fighters. In the videos one man and one woman were seen convulsing and otherwise in agony, and delirious.
The European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights (ELDH) also called on the Turkish government to end its crackdown on those demanding an investigation into allegations and urged OPCW member states to demand an investigation by the OPCW and the United Nations.
The top forensic medicine expert in the country, Turkish Medical Association (TTB) Chairwoman Şebnem Korur Fincancı, and lawyer Aryen Turan were arrested over remarks on the matter, urging an independent investigation.