On Sunday 4 March 2009, Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) released a fifty-four-page report, Where there is a promise, there is tragedy: cross-border bombings and shellings of villages in the Kurdish region of Iraq by the nations of Turkey and Iran, that details the destruction of northern Iraqi village life by Turkish and Iranian attacks over the past two years.
CPT’s Iraq team wrote the report because regional and world powers, rebel groups and Kurdish Regional Government have dismissed the villagers—mostly shepherds and farmers—their lives, their futures, their lands, their children, as irrelevant to the 'larger' agendas of the parties involved. See full report at <http://www.cpt.org/files/CPT_Iraq_Bombing_Report.pdf>
Where there is a promise, there is tragedy documents the impact of an intermittent war waged on Kurdish villagers, the historical context in which the current warfare is occurring, and the international legal implications of decisions taken by various militaries to engage in acts of violence against a vulnerable civilian population.
In the report, CPT’s Iraq team calls for an immediate ceasefire between Turkey and the PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party) on the northern border and between Iran and PJAK (Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan) on the eastern border, as well as the resumption of peace talks between the government of Turkey and representatives of the PKK. Absent a genuine peace among Turkey, Iran, and their native Kurdish populations, the war they are waging and have waged for decades will continue to spill into the mountains of northern Iraq.
For the past eight years, CPT-Iraq has documented human rights abuses in various contexts, including prisoner/detainee abuse and systematic torture by the United States military and the Iraqi Army and Police.
Christian Peacemaker Teams has had a presence in Iraq since late 2002, first in the south and then in the northern Kurdish region.
Doug Pritchard, Co-Director, CPT, +1-416-423-5525, mobile +1-647-297-7079
For interviews or more information about the Kurdish village peoples, contact CPT-Iraq: cptiraq [at] cpt [dot] org
or at +964 770 291 6487