The UN high commissioner for human rights has voiced concerns over allegations of continued violations of international law in southeast Turkey.
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein made the remarks during a speech at the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council held in Geneva on Tuesday.
“We have received repeated and serious allegations of on-going violations of international law as well as human rights concerns, including civilian deaths, extrajudicial killings and massive displacement,” he said.
While adding that his concerns over people’s rights in the region remain “acute,” the high commissioner stressed that sufficient consideration must be lent toward the humanitarian and protection requirements for the thousands who have been displaced and affected by Ankara’s actions in the region.
“We continue to receive reports of destruction and demolition of towns and villages in the southeast,” he added
Stressing that the Turkish government has so far refrained from granting unfettered access to the region, he noted that, “We have therefore set up a temporary monitoring capacity based in Geneva, and we will continue to inform this Council of our concerns.”
Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast has been the scene of severe clashes between government forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) since a shaky peace mechanism, which had started out between the two sides back in 2013, collapsed last year. It is estimated that the resumption of the hostilities killed nearly 2,000 people between July 2015 and July 2016.