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HRW: Civilian deaths in southeast Turkey alarming

23 December 2015 7:05


Human Rights Watch (HRW) has expressed concern about the rising civilian death toll as Turkey continues with its campaign against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the southeast.

Citing local rights groups, the New York-based rights organization said in areport released on Tuesday that more than 100 civilians have been killed in the restive region since July.

The report also warned that the number of casualties is likely to increase “steeply” in the coming days. It said 15 civilian deaths occurred during curfews in September and November, warning that they were just a “sample.”

The HRW report urged the Turkish government to scale back its operations and conduct an investigation into the killings in the region.

Emma Sinclair-Webb, a senior Turkey researcher at the HRW, called on Ankara to “rein in its security forces, immediately stop the abusive and disproportionate use of force, and investigate the deaths and injuries caused by its operations.”

“To ignore or cover up what’s 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 stated.

People in the Kurdish-majority towns and cities in Turkey’s southeast have held a series of protests to express anger at the imposition of curfews there as the security forces fight Kurdish militants.

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