Hüsnü YILMAZPresident / Co-FounderHüsnü YILMAZPresident / Co-Founder
Law graduate from the University of Lausanne in 2006, Hüsnü Yilmaz worked for a Swiss trade-union in Geneva as well as for the service of legal affairs for Inclusion Handicap in the Swiss Romandie in Lausanne.
Following his articling in Lausanne, he became licensed attorney in 2012. Since then, he has opened his office and practices as an independent barrister.
Hüsnü Yilmaz was co-chairman of Progressive Lawyers in Vaud canton, he was member of the committee for Democratic Lawyers of Switzerland for several years.
He is currently an individual member of the committee of the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights.
In addition to his activity as a lawyer, Hüsnü Yilmaz is co-writer of two books in the field of social insurance law and labor law.
Licencié en droit à l’Université de Lausanne en 2006, Hüsnü Yilmaz a ensuite travaillé pour un syndicat suisse à Genève et pour le service juridique romand d’Inclusion Handicap à Lausanne.
Après son stage d’avocat à Lausanne, il a obtenu son brevet en 2012. Depuis lors, il a ouvert son étude et il exerce comme avocat indépendant.
Hüsnü Yilmaz a été co-président des Juristes progressistes vaudois, il a été membre durant plusieurs années du comité des Juristes Démocrates de Suisse.
Actuellement, il est toujours membre individuel du comité de l’Association européenne des juristes pour la démocratie et les droits de l’Homme.
Parallèlement à son activité d’avocat, Hüsnü Yilmaz a collaboré à la rédaction de deux ouvrages dans le domaine du droit des assurances sociales et du droit du travail.
Rüstü DEMIRKAYACo-FounderRüstü DEMIRKAYACo-Founder
Rüstü Demirkaya is working as a journalist/reporter since 2002. Between 2002-2009, he worked for DIHA News Agency and Özgür Gündem newspaper as a reporter and editor. Received his BA in International Relations from the Global Studies Institute at the University of Geneva, Demirkaya is a Master's student in Political and Cultural Geography at the University of Geneva and also continues to work as a correspondent for the MA News Agency from Geneva. He is active in different institutions and organizations, working in the field of minority and refugee rights. He is also a member of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Media and Communication Union (Syndicom) and the Association of Accredited Correspondents at the United Nations (ACANU).
Prof. Dr. Franco CAVALLICo-DirecteurProf. Dr. Franco CAVALLICo-Directeur
Franco Cavalli, M.D., F.R.C.P. (London), born 1942, is Scientific Director of the Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland (IOSI) which has its main location in Bellinzona (Switzerland), but connects all the public hospitals of the Italian speaking part of Switzerland. He has created this Institute, which encompasses medical oncology, radio-oncology, nuclear medicine, palliative care, hematology and an important research division. He is Professor (Titularprofessor) of medical oncology at the Medical Faculty in Bern (Switzerland). He has an international reputation for the treatment of and research into malignant lymphoma. He is also organizing every second year in Lugano the International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma, which is the most important congress on that topic worldwide. He has been very active also in the field of the clinical evaluation of new drugs. On that field he was chairman of the Early Clinical Trials Group of EORTC and created the SENDO (Southern Europe New Drug Organization), a conglomerate which includes IOSI and the main cancer institutes in Milan. The quality of his work has been recognized by the award of 21 national and international prices, including the Petzcoller award for special dedication to oncology and the Montaigne price. He has published more than 500 articles in peer-reviewed journals, has contributed to many books on cancer including the Textbook of Medical Oncology, which he is editing together with profs S. Kaye (London) and H.H. Hansen (Copenhagen).
He was Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief of Annals of Oncology, Europe’s premier medical oncology journal, from 1990 to 2000 and he is on the Editorial Board of several other journals. He has founded in 1996 the International Extranodal Lymphoma Study Group (IELSG, www.ielsg.org), which encompasses now more than 200 institutions in 4 continents. IELSG is the leading cooperative group in the field of the biological and clinical studies in the field of extranodal lymphomas.
Franco Cavalli has been President of the Swiss Cancer League and is Chairman of the scientific committee of the European School of Oncology (ESO). He has been president of the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) between 2006 and 2008.
He has been member of the Swiss Parliament between 1995 and 2007.
Dr. Darren DINSMORECo-DirecteurDr. Darren DINSMORECo-Directeur
Dr Darren Dinsmore in an Irish legal researcher who specialises in International Human Rights Law. Darren graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (Law and Government) from the University of Ulster in 2002 and a Master of Laws (Human Rights Law) from Queen’s University Belfast in 2005. He successfully completed his doctoral studies at Queen’s University Belfast in 2012 on the topic ‘Forced Movement and International Human Rights Law: A Case-Study of the ECHR in Turkey’.
Darren has held teaching positions in the Law Schools at Queen’s University Belfast, Keele University and the University of Kent. He has undertaken legal training at Åbo Akademi University and the University of Cambridge and is completing a monograph on forced displacement in Turkey for Intersentia Publishing. His research interests include the historiography of human rights, gross and systematic violations of human rights, states of emergency and derogations, forced displacement, and political parties and free elections.
Prof. Radha D'SOUZAAdvisorProf. Radha D'SOUZAAdvisor
Radha D’Souza is a critical scholar, social justice activist, barrister and writer from India. She is Professor of International Law, Development and Conflict Studies at the University of Westminster. Before joining the academia D’Souza practiced as a barrister at the High Court of Bombay in India specialising in Constitutional law, administrative law, labour and environmental rights, civil liberties and public interest litigation. She has taught in the Universities of Auckland and Waikato in Aotearoa/New Zealand and worked on collaborative projects with academics in Universities of Oslo, McGill, Manitoba and British Columbia. She has taught in departments of Law, Sociology, Development Studies and Human Geography.
D’Souza’s research and writing focuses on the Third World, colonialism and neo-colonialism and the law, history of imperialism in South Asia, resource conflicts in the Third World (especially water and land) and comparative theory and philosophy. She has written and published extensively in academic and non-academic journals and platforms on a range of subjects and issues concerning social and global justice. Her recent book What’s Wrong With Rights? Social Movements, Law and Liberal Imaginations (Pluto, 2018) maps the transformations in the regime of international rights to the transformations in post-World War imperialism. She has written on activism and the security state, anti-colonial movements in South Asia, imperialism and self-determination, colonialism and international law, and on militarisation and ethno-national conflicts in South Asia. Her book Contextualising Interstate Disputes Over Krishna Waters: Law, Science and Imperialism (Orient Longmans: 2006) is the first major socio-legal analysis of conflicts over river waters in the Third World and amongst the few anywhere.
D’Souza is a democratic rights activist from India. She was a trade union organiser in Mumbai. D’Souza worked with unorganised sector workers to unionise and defend their rights. She has worked with anti-globalisation movements on labour standards in international trade agreements, Third World debt, Structural Adjustment Programmes, and militarism. She has worked as a social justice campaigner in South Asia and the Asia-Pacific regions and Aotearoa/New Zealand. In the United Kingdom she works with Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC) to support communities adversely impacted by anti-terrorism laws.
Together with Dutch artist Jonas Staal, D’Souza co-produced the Court for Intergenerational Climate Crimes (CICC) a performative art exhibition based on ideas in her book What’s Wrong With Rights? and hosted by art space Framer Framed in Amsterdam. A musical performance based on the CICC is scheduled to take place at the Helsinki Music Festival in August 2022. D’Souza has published short stories, poems and translated poems from Indian languages.
Margaret OWEN OBEAdvisorMargaret OWEN OBEAdvisor
Margaret Owen OBE is a UK London based human rights barrister and a door tenant of 9 Bedford Row Chambers. She works internationally and domestically, at the UN and with other human rights NGOs, across a wide range of human rights issues as a lawyer and an activist. She co-chairs the international working group, the UK Civil Society Women’s Alliance (UKCSWA) and is a Patron of Peace in Kurdistan.
She has worked for many years with a focus on the violation of the human rights of the most vulnerable, especially of women and girls, widows, immigrants, refugees, IDPs, prisoners of conscience, minorities, and civilian victims of armed conflicts, genocide, ethnic cleansing, chemical weapons, wrongful detentions, torture, sexual violence and rape as a weapon of war.
Margaret studied law at Cambridge, taught by such luminaries as Professor Hersch Lauterpacht (who coined the phrase ‘Crimes against Humanity’) whilst an undergraduate at Girton College. She was called to the Bar of the Middle Temple and practiced as a barrister for a short while, leaving because there was, at that time (the mid-50s), such prejudice against women barristers. She made a career change, joining Granada TV as a documentary producer, after a year of travelling in the Middle East.
She took a second degree at the London School of Economics (LSE) in Sociology and Social Administration, reflecting her interest in examining the impact of legislation on vulnerable people, their access to legal representation and their capacity to have their voices heard in policy formulations and law reform.
Rediscovering her legal qualifications, she joined the Immigration Asylum Service (UKIAS) as a senior immigration and asylum lawyer. Later, she was appointed to head the Law and Policy Department of the International Planned Parent Federation (IPPF) and in both these capacities, she travelled on missions to many developing countries.
Her special interest in women’s rights grew through her IPPF campaigns. She has worked as a consultant for various UN entities and is the founder and President of Widows for Peace through Democracy (WPD), an international NGO with ECOSOC status. She is a regular participant at the annual UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and was a Visiting Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) teaching a Masters course on Law, Women, Development and Health. She has made numerous presentations in conferences, seminars and workshops on various human rights issues at various universities, including in the UK.
Margaret has observed and reported on many political trials in Turkey and has made two visits to the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES, also known as Rojava) and several visits to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and Sri Lanka. She received an OBE in 2013 for her human rights work for women and especially for widows.
Fatma ÖZDEMİRProject ManagerFatma ÖZDEMİRProject Manager
Fatma Ozdemir is a Kurdish human rights lawyer from Turkey. She has previous experience as a practicing lawyer in Istanbul, as a consultant and representative of the Turkish People’s Democratic Party and as the co-chair of the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (OHD). She has provided legal consultancy on national and international human rights law dealing with the fundamental rights and group rights of imprisoned individuals and judicial proceedings for monitoring the European Court of Human Right’s judgment implementations. Through this experience, Ozdemir has worked closely alongside international human rights organisations and other related international actors. Ozdemir is an active contributor to various OHD’s published reports and research projects, which has allowed her to develop an understanding of an intersectional framework approach towards human rights violation cases; particularly cases relating to immunity and the appropriate punishment of perpetrators. Currently, she is pursuing her İnternational Humanitarian Law master program at the University of Essex.
Prof. Tom HADDENConsultantProf. Tom HADDENConsultant
Professor Emeritus Tom Hadden was a lecturer in law from 1967 to 1969 in the Faculty of Social Sciences at what was then the University of Kent at Canterbury where he laid the foundation for his first major book Company Law and Capitalism. He returned to his native Northern Ireland in 1969 as the 'troubles' erupted and worked until recently as a part-time lecturer and professor at the School of Law at Queen's University Belfast, while at the same time founding and editing a political magazine, Fortnight: an Independent Review for Northern Ireland. He served on the Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights in the 1980s and was a Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission from 1999 to 2005.
His most recent academic work has been the production of collectively authored research reports: A Responsibility to Assist: Human Rights Policy and Practice in European Union Conflict Management Operations (Hart 2009); The Belfast Guidelines on Amnesty and Accountability (Transitional Justice Institute 2013), and Fighting Corporate Abuse: Beyond Predatory Capitalism (Pluto 2014). He is currently working on what he calls the General Pendulum Theory of Human Rights and a possible new Geneva Convention or Protocol on internationalised internal conflicts.
Dr. Deniz ARBET NEJBIRLegal AdvisorDr. Deniz ARBET NEJBIRLegal Advisor
Deniz Arbet Nejbir is a Kurdish human rights activist and lawyer. He is employed as an assistant professor at Queen’s University Belfast School of Law and a Legal Adviser for Mesopotamia Observatory of Justice, in Geneva (Switzerland) since September 2018.
He received a full scholarship from both Ruskin College, Oxford and the University of Warwick to pursue his undergraduate law degree. Prior to commencing his PhD at Queen’s University, he obtained an advanced master’s degree (LLM) in International and European Law with distinction from Vrije Universiteit Brussels, where he was awarded a full scholarship. He graduated from DEL funded PhD in December 2019, with very minor corrections. His PhD thesis entitled “The Treatment of the Kurds and the Kurdish Language by the Turkish State,” generates a new theoretical approach to the examination of the suppression of the Kurds and Kurdish language in Turkey by providing unprecedented examination of Turkey’s systematic Kurdish annihilation policy under international European human rights law and minority law and international criminal law, namely crimes against humanity and cultural and linguistic genocide.
His PhD thesis makes an original contribution to Kurdish studies on Turkey and it is such high quality that it was subsequently awarded a book contract by the prestigious publishing house Routledge. The book is due to be published in 2022. His scholarship is not only based on extensive study and documentary research, but also on my long-standing working experience in the field of human rights and international law. He has a wealth of practical experience in representing human rights victims and advocating on their behalf in various UK and international institutions, including the Immigration and Asylum Tribunals, Interpol, the United Nations Human Rights Committees and European Court of Human Rights. His academic background and practical experience provided him with a broad knowledge of international and European human rights law, international criminal law and an in-depth understanding of international humanitarian law, crimes against humanity, cultural genocide, minority rights and the Kurdish conflict in Turkey.
Rojin MUKRIYANResearcherRojin MUKRIYANResearcher
Rojin Mukriyan is a PhD candidate in the department of Government and Politics at University College Cork, Ireland. Her main research areas are in political theory and Middle Eastern politics, especially Kurdish politics. She has published articles in the Journal of International Political Theory, Philosophy and Social Criticism, and Theoria. Her research has thus far focused on the areas of Kurdish liberty, Kurdish statehood, and Kurdish political friendship.
- The Concept of the Kurdish Political:
By applying Schmitt’s conceptual framework, the authors in this paper argue that the Kurds, especially in their struggles for autonomy and independence, can be viewed as fulfilling Schmitt’s criterion for tellurian partisanship and forming an at least nascent constituent power. They argue that Turks and Kurds are enemies in Schmitt’s explicitly political sense. They constitute a threat to each other’s political existence. The Kurds exhibit the behavior of a Schmittian people or nation. They fight, against Turks, for their political existence. They aim to govern themselves, and so instantiate the de facto attributes of state sovereignty. They thus seek to constitute themselves as a free and independent people, thereby achieving a genuine political existence in the Schmittian sense.
- Kurdish Liberty:
In this paper the authors argue that the formation of an independent Kurdish state is fundamental for achieving Kurdish liberty. Following this, they combine certain elements of the anarchist and republican conceptions and offer a synthetic communitarian view that could serve as a better foundation for Kurdish aspirations for liberty.
- The Domination of the Kurds:
The authors, in this article, try to develop a conception of a distinctly political form of domination. They do this as an attempt to understand the kind of domination the Kurdish people suffer. Borrowing from Carl Schmitt's framework of differing degrees of political enmity, they argue political domination is best understood as an existential form of domination whereby one people aim to prevent the independent existence of another people mainly through the uncontrolled power and extreme violence involved in absolute enmity. This conception of existential domination is offered as an example of a non-moralised, norm-independent account of domination. They then argue that the Kurdish people, who are the largest stateless people in the world, suffer existential domination from the absolute enmity expressed towards them by the four nation-states they find themselves dominated within: Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
Desmond FERNANDESResearcherDesmond FERNANDESResearcher
Desmond Fernandes is a former Senior Lecturer in Human Geography and former Course Leader for the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (Law and Health Options) at De Montfort University, England. He specialises in issues and concerns relating to the Kurdish and other genocides, the criminalisation and securitisation of communities, the use of torture and ‘disappearances’ by states, ‘deep politics’, globalisation, the political economy of tourism and the destructive impacts of mega-developments on environments and communities.
He has published widely in magazines, journals, handbooks and on-line media platforms, including the Routledge Handbook on the Kurds, the International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Genocide Studies and Prevention, Law, Social Justice and Global Development, Variant: Cross Currents in Culture, Peace News, the Thailand Environment Institute Journal, Armenian Forum, Socialist Lawyer, L'Appel du Kurdistan, Kurdistan Aktuell, The Kurdish Question, UCA News and Medya News. His works have been translated into a number of languages including English, French, German, Hindi, Kurdish, Turkish, Greek and Dutch and he made a series of podcasts for Medya News in 2021 exploring various human rights concerns.
Fernandes has made presentations at the 18th Congress of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers(Brussels), Gray's Inn Square (London), the UK National Union of Journalists (NUJ) headquarters (London), the Garden Court Chambers (Lincoln's Inn Fields, London), the Centre for Contemporary Arts (Glasgow), the Kurdish Library (Stockholm), the Gustav-Stresemann Institute (Bonn), the University of London’s Students Union, international conferences at UK universities - including Cambridge, London Metropolitan University, the School of Oriental and African Studies (London), The Institute of Education (London), Strathclyde (Glasgow), Loughborough and Queen’s University (Belfast) - as well as ones organised by the Association for Democracy and International Law, the International League for Human Rights and the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights, the UK Houses of Parliament (over 20 since 2007), the European parliament, the Hague (to the Dutch Foreign Affairs Committee) and various community centres and bodies. He has guest lectured at the National Law School in India and at Cranfield and De Montfort Universities in the UK.
He is a member of the Campaign Against Criminalising Communities and Peace in Kurdistan and has authored a number of books including The Kurdish and Armenian Genocides: From Censorship and Denial to Recognition?(Apec, Stockholm, 2007; Peri, Istanbul, 2013 – Turkish translation), Education, Human Rights Violations in Pakistan and the Scandal Involving UNHCR and Asylum Seekers in Thailand (BPCA, London, 2016 2nd updated edition) andCall it by its name: 'Persecution!' (BPCA, London, 2019). He has co-authored several books including The Education System in Pakistan: Discrimination and the Targeting of the 'Other' (BPCA, London, 2014) and The Targeting of 'Minority Others' in Pakistan (BPCA, London, 2013) and has provided evidence for a number of UK parliamentary inquiries.
Several questions have additionally been raised in the UK parliament based upon the findings of his books and several analysts have concluded that they have resulted in triggering a review of the UK Home Office Policy towards Pakistani Christians and some evidence hearing sessions at the UK Parliament. Mosa Zahed, as Executive Director of Middle East Forum for Development, suggested that his findings also helped to contribute to a change in the asylum policy of the Dutch government regarding religious minorities in Pakistan.
Viyan Zabel KINALIProject CoordinatorViyan Zabel KINALIProject Coordinator
Viyan Zabel Kınalı is a human rights lawyer and activist from Turkey. She graduated from Ankara University Faculty of Law in 2018 where she founded the Solidarity with Imprisoned Students Network, affiliated to the Human Rights Association, whose work largely focused on prison studies.
In 2020, after graduation and while she was a lawyer under the Istanbul Bar Association, she spent time as a research assistant in the Department of International Law at Beykent University Faculty of Law. Currently, she is completing her Master’s Program in Human Rights law at Istanbul Bilgi University, where her thesis is focused on the seizing licences and expulsion of lawyers from the legal profession in Turkey.
Throughout her time in academia, her studies have primarily focused on the right to defence in oppressive regimes, human rights pertaining to the LGBTQ+ community, prohibition of discrimination, the freedom of expression and animal liberation.
Parallel to academics, she has extensive experience in activism relating to the prohibition of discrimination, alternatives to imprisonment and the protection of human rights for minorities and people living with HIV, sex workers, trans women, LGBTI+s.
On top of her studies she has spent time working at Amnesty International as an Activist Group Coordinator, as a trainee at the Civil Society in the Penal System Association (CİSST) and as a legal volunteer at the Social Policy, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation Studies Association.
Vahide DEMIRIInternVahide DEMIRIIntern
Vahide Demiri is a MLaw student at University of Geneva with a specialization in international law. She graduated from Geneva University Faculty of Law and Global Studies Institut in 2022 with a double bachelor of Laws and International Relations. She has always been very active in human rights and is very interested in this field. She has always defended human rights, especially in Palestine. Then, in June 2022, she decided to join MOJUST to bring justice to the victims of these crimes against humanity that take place in the Middle East.