- Amnesty International
- (AI)Amnesty International is a private, nongovernmental international organization that works to prevent some of the gravest violations by governments of people's fundamental human rights. It was founded in 1961 and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977. AI's main focus is to free all prisoners of conscience; ensure fair and prompt trials for political prisoners; abolish the death penalty, torture, and other cruel treatment of prisoners; and end extrajudicial executions. Thus, AI has been a major actor supporting human rights for the Kurds. As a result, AI has been strongly criticized by governments accused of violating Kurdish human rights.AI has also worked to correct human rights violations committed by various Kurdish organizations such as occurred during the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)-Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) fighting in northern Iraq in the mid-1990s. In April 2009, AI released a critical report about the situation currently prevailing under the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). This new AI report, based on research conducted in 2008, found that security forces in the KRG were operating "beyond the rule of law" and cited specific cases where individuals had "disappeared" and detainees had been tortured with electric shocks, sleep deprivation, kicking, suspension by the wrists and ankles, and beaten with fists, cables, and batons. AI said that the KRG had failed to control the security wings of the KDP and PUK but specifically singled out Asayesh, the security and intelligence agency of the KDP. On the other hand, the AI report admitted that progress in human rights abuses had been made, particularly regarding the release of political prisoners detained without charges or trial. Nechirvan Barzani, the prime minister of the KRG, promised to correct the problems.
Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. Michael M. Gunter.
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