On 24th of January 2023, on the occasion of the Day of the Endangered Lawyer, Human Rights Solidarity protested the deteriorating situation of the rule of law and independence of the judicial profession in front of the Afghanistan Embassy in London and delivered a letter to Ambassador Dr Zalmai Rassoul, the ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Kingdom. The letter underlined the unacceptability of the deterioration of the rule of law and independence of the judiciary after the Taliban takeover in general, and of the constraints on the ability of Afghan women to access the justice system in particular.
Undersigned by Merve Aslangoren, the serving chairperson of the Human Rights Solidarity, the letter called for immediate halt to restrictions imposed on women lawyers’ work. Before the Taliban takeover, the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association (AIBA) had over 5,500 members, one third of which were women. After the takeover, together with the universities and all other public offices, women are barred from the legal profession. But the real danger to women lawyers comes from the criminals who have been released from jails by the Taliban, as a significant part of these criminals were put behind bars by women judges and prosecutors and are now in a hunt for revenge.
Referring to the joint statement of the Special Rapporteurs Margaret Satterthwaite, on the independence of judges and lawyers, and Richard Bennett, on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, the letter underlined the challenges the Afghan lawyers are facing and called both the Afghan government and the international community to action. ” By suspending the 2004 Constitution, ousting all judges from the bench, and stripping the Attorney General’s office of its key role, the Taliban has precipitated the collapse of the rule of law and judicial independence in Afghanistan”, according to the statement and since the Taliban takeover a minimum of 16 lawyers were killed by unknown individuals in Kabul and other provinces.
We will arrange a workshop to teach young people about the Rights of Children and Youth and to empower them and encourage them to acknowledge their rights. This will be an interactive session addressing topics such as:
This panel will focus on the UK’s current situation with the concord of ECHR decisions and their implementation into UK law. We will be listening the experts in Human rights, such as professors, human rights lawyers, judges, and more. This panel will be face-to-face in February. We will post the updates on our website soon.
Research and discussion project on “Women’s power in world economy and science.”
Women have an underestimated contribution to the global economy and to science. We want to research and acknowledge women’s efforts, contributions, and inventions. This project includes academic research and interview series.
Human Rights Solidarity has registered to join UN CSW. We will be entering the UN’s face-to-face parallel events in New York and discussing the outcome of our research project, “Women’s power in world economy and science” we will host guest speakers and prepare a presentation for this event. We need human resources to prepare for this event.
Human rights history walking tours in London, such as the Suffragette, Black history, and more. London is full of history. We will be walking to different London landmarks to witness the history of human rights.
These tours will be open to volunteers, and the guide will be booked in advance.
Discussions with young people on ‘activism through art.’
Activism has many formats, and the use of art is a profound method. Art is not only an abstract way of acting but also a way of showing solidarity. We will discuss the art pieces that demonstrate the violation of human rights and try to find ways to show solidarity.
Research on International Criminal Law and Rome Statute’ mass killing of political groups’ and why it is not covered in the term ‘genocide’.
This research will try to identify the core elements of genocide described in the Rome Statute and analyse the reason behind setting ‘protected groups’ and why political groups are not one of them. The outcome of the research will be published on our website.
Please contact us if you wish to be part of the research team.
Research on the violation of disabled people’s rights and their struggles.
Disabled people are often isolated, and their rights are repeatedly violated. We want to research disabled people’s rights regarding ECHR decisions and share the outcome on our website.
Talented activists’ training.
This will be a training series for our volunteers to improve their skills and learn new ones in order to benefit the company.
After completion of the training, we will apply the new skills to our projects.
This will be seen in the form of creating podcast series and making video edits for our social media accounts.
The training will start by addressing the following topics:
Video editing training
Public speaking training
Discussion on the limitation of freedom of expression in line with hate crimes: What are the limits?
Freedom of expression and hate crimes are in absolute conflict. Hate crimes are at their highest records on social media. In the case of these vocalisations of hate, many argue that freedom of speech is essential. But do we know where freedom of speech and the effects of hate begin and end? We will discuss the types and forms of hate crimes, the groups who are facing the hatred and how to stop said crimes, including ways to report them.
We will be preparing documents for each attendee to read before this discussion.
Amnesty International “Oppressor and Oppressed” Panel
We are organising a panel with Amnesty International on Islamophobia; this event will focus on the violation of human rights towards Muslim people.
The details of the event will be decided soon in a meeting with Amnesty International and we will keep you posted.
Cross Party Joint Letter calling the UK government to make human rights as a condition of improved relations with Turkey
DATE: 11 May 2021
PLACE: Online Campaign
COMMITTEE: Write for Rights
Human Rights Solidarity organized a Write Your MP campaign to support the Cross Party Joint Letter launched by Crispin Blunt MP and Hilary Benn MP, calling on the UK government to make human rights as a precondition for improving economic and political relations with Turkey. We invited our volunteers all around the UK to write letters to their members of parliament, encouraging them to undersign the joint letter. When the letter was finally sent to the then Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Dominic Raab by the two co-organizers, the joint letter was signed by 53 members of the parliament.
HRS hopes that this important campaing will bring about further steps towards adoption of an ethical foreign policy by the UK government.
This year’s Million Women Rise march, themed against male violence was on the 5th of March. Exactly a year after the violent murder of Sarah Everard. The march started in front of the Charing Cross police station and ended in front of the New Scotland Yard. These locations were crucial to the protest, because as Sabrina Qureshi, the founder of Million Women Rise, said, despite the fact that we pay for the police to keep us safe and protect us, there are still to this day, multiple incidents of the police violence against women. The police continues on to ignore occasions of abuse of women. In short, the police keeps failing women.
Male violence cases have been surging since the start of the pandemic, and despite all attempts to improve the system, few women can find a remedy in it.
As the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee of Human Rights Society we decided to place a male embodiment of all news coverages of violence against women inside a cage. This was symbolising both the source of violence against women, and the kind of freedom we women would enjoy had this source been neutralized.
The male mannequin character had newspaper clippings covering male violence cases such as “I killed 17 women” and “Violent ex stalked women” around his body. This physical demonstration was one of the highlights of the whole march and got a lot of attention from many media outlets such as the BBC, The Guardian and The Independent.
This was our turn to say “Stop!” This was our turn to ask for justice, to claim back our long lost safety, right in front of those who deny us from it.
We asked them to “Stop the violence!” and “Stop the rape!”
Because women have had enough; because there will be no peace if no justice is delivered.
It was a cold Saturday in London indeed. We raised our banners up to the sky under 4 degrees Celsius, while our hands and legs were shivering. We embraced each other in order to keep warm; in order to keep safe.
The march ended with a rally in front of New Scotland Yard. Speakers and campaigners stood up against male violence and highlighted how racism, xenophobia and homophobia were the main causes of police brutality against women. The campaigners highlighted that “Enough is Enough” and women will not tolerate any more violence against themselves.
I was very honoured to be able to recite my poem “On Womanhood” during the rally. I expressed my worries on how while “boys will be boys, girls never get to be girls”. It was a moving experience for me to have amazing, inspiring and shivering women listen to me and support me by their ovations. I also received a few hugs from strangers by the end of my performance. It was truly an unforgettable moment.
With these feelings still warm and alive in my heart, I leave you with the poem:
To be born into womanhood is to be born neck-deep into guilt.
It means to be a house haunted by shame.
It means to be a daughter, a mother and a sister – before a person, because boys won’t care unless you compare them to their birth givers.
It’s getting your screams and cries ignored, it’s getting your right to justice avoided – Because women bleeding doesn’t bother men unless it’s from periods.
To be a woman is to grow up earlier than boys, It’s getting told what girls do and don’t.
It’s being so aware that you are a girl, you forget you’re human.
It’s having to accept when your mother says “boys will be boys, that’s what they do”,
Is that what boys will be? Will boys be boys?
Will boys be rapists? Murderers?
Will boys be abusers and predators?
Boys will be boys.
Boys will be boys, and girls will never forget to look behind themselves when they’re alone at night. girls will be girls instead of women, because even that is too much for a boy to grasp. a woman becomes a girl when her hands bleed from clutching her keys too tight.
a woman becomes a girl in a boy’s eyes.
Boys will be boys. But, will girls be girls? Will girls be alive?
Girls never get to be girls, women never get to be women.
And today we will stand and scream and make noise, for those who never got the chance to have a voice.
We’ll stand for the women in war. We’ll stand for the women of Ukraine, For the women of Palestine, the women of Syria, the women of Sudan!
For the women unlawfully detained!
Raise your voice for the Uyghur women of China getting ethnically cleansed!
For the women of Iran, the women of India, the women of Africa!
For the women whose rights are ignored!
Raise your voices for the women of Pakistan, the women of Spain and Brazil!
The women of the United Kingdom who were killed by the police!
For the women whose justice was never offered!
Raise your voices for the women who lost their lives to violence.!
For the women who never got their respects paid!
Let us all rise for our sisters all around the world! Let us ask for justice!
Human Rights Solidarity and LA has published “Politically Motivated Systematic Torture in Turkey and Its Survivors: Interviews with UK-Based Torture Survivors.”
Human Rights Solidarity (HRS) is a London-based agile and independent human rights organisation empowered by youth. We define ourselves, not with the injustices and human rights abuses we fight against but with the future, we want to build. Our hard work is determined by the desire to protect the rights of the generations to come. https://www.hrsolidarity.org/about-us/
Human rights Human rights , specifically torture and inhuman or degrading treatment (TIDT), have always been rife in Turkish society; however, since the July 2016 coup d’état attempt against the government of President Erdogan, these instances of TIDT have increased significantly. As a result, a striking number of Turkish citizens have been documented fleeing their homelands due to fear of prosecution and TIDT, many of whom have settled in the UK and the EU.
The report on Politically Motivated Systemic Torture in Turkey and Its Survivors by HRS analyses the international and national legal frameworks of TIDT with support from recent documentation of torture and inhuman treatment in Turkey in order to put forward London Advocacy’s Torture or Inhumane or Degrading Treatment Victims Support Project.
The victim support project gathered information through a questionnaire to 30 victims of torture and additional interviews with 10 of the 30 original participants. By demonstrating the United Nations General Assembly prohibition against torture, the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the 1984 Convention against Torture, the 1989 Convention of the Rights of the Child, and many more’s declarations and commitment to battling the existence of torture, this report frames the lack of aid and expulsion of torture in Turkey in a legal environment.
Examples of recent torture and inhuman treatment reports in Turkey further exemplify the existence of this human rights issue and back up our move to create a victim support project to raise awareness of the injustices and violations occurring in Turkey. The outcome and findings of the victim support project align with multiple previous documentation of TIDT in Turkey, directly overlapping with the CPT’s Turkey 2017 and 2019 reports.
The Torture Victims project functions as a research project to document and analyse the torture and inhumane or degrading treatment cases evidenced by newly arrived Turkish refugees in the UK after the 2016 coup.
Since 2016, those perceived as Gulenist and Kurdish are at high risk of accusations of terrorism-related charges, and hence torture and inhumane treatment.
All interviewees detailed overcrowding, lack of sufficient beds in police detention cells and prisons, ineffective legal aid, and insufficient access to food and water.
The majority of interviewees reported being detained and tortured by police multiple times.
Turkey is a party to ICCPR, the 1984 UN Convention against Torture, the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, the 1950 European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and the 1987 European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, yet torture in Turkey continuously goes unpunished.
Torture incidents are not being accurately investigated.
The accounts of the interviewees overlap with previously reported cases of TIDT in international documents and national entities (see Ankara Bar and Medical Association and CPT 2017 and 2019 Turkey reports)
Between June 2016 and June 2022, over 5100 individuals have applied for asylum in the UK from Turkey, with an additional approximation of 110,000 individuals applying for asylum in the EU between 2016 and 2021.
Several victims who were encouraged to fill out the short survey during seminars did not and did not respond to our calls for face-to-face interviews due to anxiety over repercussions from the Turkish government.
TABLE OF CONTENT
CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER II: INTERNATIONAL & NATIONAL LEGAL FRAMEWORK ON TORTURE, or INHUMANE or DEGRADING TREATMENT (TIDT
CHAPTER III: RECENT REPORTS DOCUMENTING WIDESPREAD TORTURE AND INHUMANE TREATMENT IN TURKEY
CHAPTER IV: UK-BASED TURKISH TORTURE OR INHUMANE OR DEGRADING TREATMENT VICTIMS SUPPORT PROJECT
CHAPTER V: DATA ANALYSIS OF THE SURVEY (QUESTIONNAIRE)
CHAPTER VI: ANALYSIS OF INTERVIEWS
CHAPTER VII: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
A Sample Table from Report: Physical Effects of Torture, Inhumane and Degrading Treatment
Human Rights Solidarity will continue to value communication with our stakeholders, including readers of the report. If you have any inquiries regarding the contents of the report, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org