Iceland Will Stand Up For Kurdish Human Rights - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Iceland Will Stand Up For Kurdish Human Rights

Published August 3, 2016

Photos by
Free Kurdistan/Wikimedia Commons

Iceland’s Foreign Minister has pledged the country will fight human rights abuses of Kurds and other minorities in Turkey.

Stundin reports that a special meeting of Iceland’s Foreign Affairs Committee, called together by Left-Green MP Steinunn Þóra Árnadóttir, was assembled to discuss how Iceland should respond to increasing reports of human rights abuses in Turkey. Apart from the mass persecutions of academics, judges and journalists in the wake of the recent coup attempt, Turkish authorities and military personnel have been continuing concerted attacks against Kurdish people for as long as the Turkish state has existed.

Most recently, NATO (of which Iceland is also a member) approved Turkish bombardments of what were supposed to be Daesh positions in Syria and Iraq. However, Turkey also bombed military positions of Kurds, who are also fighting against Daesh, and there are also reports Kurdish civilian centres were targeted.

In light of these recent developments, a news release from the Left-Green Party reports that Minister of Foreign Affairs Lilja D. Alfreðsdóttir told the committee Iceland finds these developments “troubling”, adding that “from here forward, we will place stronger emphasis on human rights violations committed against Kurds and other minorities in Turkey.” There was reportedly agreement amongst all parties on this point.

Social Democrat MP and former Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson added his thoughts on Facebook, wherein he condemned Turkish President Recep Erdoğan’s repressive regime, noting that attacks on Kurds have been on the rise.

“Iceland needs to object to this heartily,” he wrote in part. “Turkey is with us in NATO, and Iceland needs to bring the matter up to [NATO] as well.”

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