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OPCW branded ‘a tool of imperialism’ after stonewalling Kurdish protests against Turkey’s alleged use of banned munitions

THE Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was branded “a tool of imperialism” today as Kurds rallied in The Hague demanding action over Turkey’s alleged used of banned munitions. 

At a press conference held outside the watchdog’s headquarters in the Netherlands protesters heard how the OPCW had “once again slammed the door in our faces” after it refused to meet a delegation recently returned from Iraqi Kurdistan. 

“By refusing to meet and receive our evidence they have shown once more that they are nothing more than a tool of the imperialist powers. 

“The OPCW has ignored letters from Kurdish organisations, dismissed appeals from politicians and refuses to even acknowledge the pleas of the very people it was established to protect,” a statement read out at the rally said. 

The delegation was hoping to present a report along with soil, hair and clothing samples taken from those who claimed to have been exposed to chemical attacks in the region. 

According to reports from the Community Peacemaker Teams, the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) and others, hundreds of chemical attacks have targeted Kurdish villages in Iraqi Kurdistan since Turkey’s invasion in April 2021.

A letter calling for a fact-finding team to be sent to the region was to be handed in, but the OPCW said it was not prepared to accommodate a meeting or receive the evidence. 

The watchdog has come under fire for failing to speak out over Turkey’s alleged chemical attacks raising suspicions of collusion. 

The statement warned plans for both Finland and Sweden to join Nato posed a very serious threat to the Kurdish people both in the region and abroad. 

Such a move will embolden Mr Erdogan in his wars and strengthen the aggressive military alliance, the rally heard.  

“If he agrees to their membership of Nato, it will come at the cost of more Kurdish blood as their lives are sacrificed for the needs of global imperialism,” the statement added.  

“It is Nato bombs that are destroying Kurdish villages, it is Nato missiles that are striking refugee camps and hospitals and targeting Yazidis in their Shengal homeland, it is Nato warplanes that are terrorising entire communities,” the crowd was reminded. 

“While [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan is the face of the war crimes, the reality is that there is a silent genocide of the Kurds in which the whole world is complicit.”

Protesters reiterated their call for Mr Erdogan to be charged with war crimes for the atrocities committed against Kurds. 

The OPCW was contacted for comment. 

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