Part of the Elie Wiesel Network is to undertake international fact-finding missions to uncover human rights abuses and mass atrocities. The first fact-finding mission was led by EGAM and the Elie Wiesel Network to South-East Turkey.
The international fact-finding mission to investigate rights violations of Kurdish people in south-east Turkey committed in implementation of Turkey’s security policies was initiated jointly by the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM) and Elie Wiesel Network (EWN) of European parliamentarians for the prevention of mass atrocities and genocide and against genocide denial.
The mission was established following reports of grave rights violations committed against the Kurdish population in numerous communities in south-east Turkey and was implemented in October 2016, with site-visits to south-east Turkey organized between 20th and 23rd October.
Members of the mission were: parliamentarians Frank Engel, European Parliament, Luxembourg; Julie Ward, European Parliament, United Kingdom; Klaus Buchner, European Parliament, Germany and Dennis Gratz, Federal Parliament, Bosnia and Herzegovina, human rights defenders; Benjamin Abtan, EGAM, Europe; Đorđe Bojović, EGAM, Europe; Mario Mažić, YIHR, Croatia; Ivan Novosel, Human Rights House, Croatia; Albert Selimi, YIHR, Kosovo; Milana Bakhaeva, Memorial, Russia; Magdalena Czyz, Open Republic, Poland; Murat Celikkan, Hafiza Merkezi, Turkey; Ayse Gunaysu, IHD, Turkey and Meral Cildir, IHD, Turkey, journalists Clara Barata, Portugal; John Hunt, United Kingdom and Tania Bozaninou, Greece, photographer Romain Champalaune and videomaker Pierre-Antoine Pluquet.
The mission’s mandate is of non-institutional nature, being initiated and implemented by non-governmental networks and organizations. The mission’s mandate is not associated to any particular government or inter-governmental organization. The parliamentarians of the Elie Wiesel Network partook in the mission in their individual capacities, not acting on behalf of the European Parliament of national parliaments. The human rights defenders partook in the mission on behalf or as representatives of their respective organizations – members or partners of EGAM and/or EWN.
The overriding objective of the mission is to serve as a human rights alert to the Turkish authorities, international community and human rights institutions with a view of contributing to ending the occurrence of such violations on one hand and ending impunity as well as contributing to providing access to justice for victims on another.