The Swedish Left Party (Vänsterpartiet) launched an anti-chemical video campaign to draw attention to Turkey’s alleged chemical weapons usage against Kurdish fighters in its cross-border military operations.
In the campaign video shared with the hashtag #OPCWinvestigate, Left Party MPs called for an independent and international committee to investigate the allegations. The MPs also invited everyone to join their call, saying, “Raise your voice too!”
The Swedish Left Party Uppsala spokesperson Ylva Larsdotter said: “We think it is important to take a stand for the Kurds and show our commitment. Make a video yourself and share it on social media.”
First Deputy Mayor of the City Council Tobias Smedberg noted that Turkey carried out military invasions to the Kurdish region of northern Iraq for 39 years. “ We receive reports from several quarters that chemical weapons are being used. This is a great concern and needs attention from the surrounding world,” he added.
“The Left Party defends international law and the rights of the Kurdish people,” said Left Party Board Member Yekbun Alp. “Crimes are committed and forgotten only through silence. Therefore, raise your voice!”
The current allegations stem from the People’s Defence Forces (HPG), the military wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), who released a video in mid-October showing two Kurdish fighters seizing and delirious, reportedly under the influence of banned chemicals. Turkey denies all accusations.
The European Kurdish Democratic Societies Congress (KCDK-E) had declared 12 November as the European day of strike against chemical weapons and more than 25,000 Kurds and their European supporters held a large demonstration in Düsseldorf, Germany against chemical weapons.
While no conclusive evidence has been made public, there is enough evidence to warrant an extensive investigation into the matter, Jan Van Aken from the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) told Medyanews, in an October interview.
Meanwhile, the OPCW has “thrown off its responsibility”, KCDK-E co-chair Fatoş Göksungur said in an interview. “OPCW said that only states can apply for an investigation. And we asked repeatedly: Does this mean that, because the Kurds do not have a state, all kinds of atrocities can be practised on 50 million Kurds?”
As calls for independent international investigations grow, no organisation has yet to launch any efforts to investigate.