Scores of civilians, including women, children and elderly residents, have been killed during security operations and armed clashes since July 2015 in southeastern Turkey and the number is likely to rise steeply, urged Human Rights Watch (HRW).
According to the HRW report entitled “Turkey: Mounting Security Operation Deaths” released on Dec. 22, “local human rights groups have recorded well over 100 civilian deaths and multiple injuries.”
Several cities have been under curfew and heavy clashes continue, reminded HRW, adding many buildings in towns such as Silvan have been damaged due to violence .
The HRW report focuses on on police and military operations during three extended curfews in September and November, aiming to document 15 of the killings of civilians in detail through interviews with relatives and witnesses, along with accounts of injured people, particularly in Cizre and Silvan.
“Wounded people have been denied access to medical treatment” said the report, stating that water and electricity have been cut and access to food have been limited due to curfews. Many people, families have fled homes while the tension escalates in the region.
“The Turkish government should rein in its security forces, immediately stop the abusive and disproportionate use of force, and investigate the deaths and injuries caused by its operations” said Emma Sinclair-Webb, senior Turkey researcher at Human Rights Watch.
“To ignore or cover up what is happening to the region's Kurdish population would only confirm the widely held belief in the southeast that when it comes to police and military operations against Kurdish armed groups, there are no limits – there is no law” she said.
The HRW report reiterated Turkey is party to both the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), “which protect the rights to life, bodily integrity, and security”.