🔴 A large march and rally have been held in the Hague, the home of the Organisation for the Prohibition of #ChemicalWeapons (#OPCW), to protest against the Turkish state’s alleged chemical attacks against #Kurdish guerrillas.https://t.co/L2fFt0sy0M pic.twitter.com/c7UuWXQmkC
— MedyaNews (@1MedyaNews) November 2, 2022
People of Kurdistan and their allies gathered to protest against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the Hague for remaining silent in the face of Turkey’s alleged chemical attacks.
Calls for an independent investigation into allegations that Turkey has routinely used chemical weapons against Kurdish fighters in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq have so far gone unheeded.
The OPCW says one of its 193 member states must demand an investigation before it can act.
But Kurdish organisations in Europe, including the European Congress of Democratic People’s Communities of Kurdistan (KCDK-E), continue to condemn the reported chemical attacks and call for an independent investigation.
The march called by the KCDK-E to protest against alleged chemical attacks against the Kurdish guerrillas’ Medya Defence Zones in northern Iraq started outside the Turkish Embassy.
People of Kurdistan and their friends attended from France, Belgium and Germany as well as the Netherlands. Xoşnav Ata, who lost two nieces in the fighting and has been holding a vigil outside the OPCW for three months, took the lead with a banner calling on the OPCW to investigate, while others held photographs of 17 guerrillas killed in the incidents.
The protesters staged a dramatic mass die-in in white hazmat suits as yellow smoke was released to make their point.
Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) co-chair Ahmed Karamus spoke at the rally, saying, “The Turkish state is attacking Kurds with prohibited weapons, and the whole world remains silent in the face of these attacks. The silence of the international states gives Turkey still more courage, and they increase their attacks.”
He went on to call for condemnation of Turkey for the use of chemical weapons, for a full OPCW investigation, and for Turkey to be subject to a weapons boycott and to face the Court of Justice.
Kurdistan People’s Congress (Kongra-Gel) co-chair Remzi Kartal also spoke, expressing his dismay that no action had been taken despite mounting evidence.
Kartal added his dismay at the OPCW system which he says leaves stateless peoples powerless to demand an investigation into crimes perpetrated against them.
“Will you remain silent just because the Kurds do not have a state?” he said.
Journalist John Hunt from the UK-based Coalition Against Chemical Weapons in Kurdistan asked why the OPCW was turning a blind eye to all the documentation available, pointing out reports, videos and photographs held by the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) and the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) as well as admissions by the Turkish Armed Forces themselves.
Dayika Arîn, the mother of a guerrilla who is said to have fallen victim to chemical weapons, called for Erdoğan to be tried in the international courts, while 70-year-old Meliha Kahraman who had travelled from Germany for the demonstration said, “Chemical [weapons] are a crime. Is it just because they’re being used against Kurds they’re not counted as a crime [here]?”