To the general public
We are compelled to publish the statement below regarding the Supervisory and Service Directorate (SSD) of Rhineland-Palatinate state’s decision to halt Kurdish Red Crescent’s activities based on false grounds.
The SSD in Rhineland-Palatinate has stopped our activities for advertising with ‘Roj TV’ and ‘Yeni Özgür Politika,’ including assisting the Azadi Association, an organization located in Düsseldorf working for public welfare. We are also penalized for helping five Kurdish women fleeing from Turkey to seek asylum in Lebanon due to the ongoing war. Furthermore, the SSD stopped our activities within the state of Rhineland-Palatinate on May 20, 2010 based on the claim that we did not have the authority to use the Red Crescent logo.
We contested this unfair decision through our attorneys, arguing that our activities had no political motivation. On the contrary, we stated that we are a humanitarian aid agency and evidenced this with documents. Since we failed to convince the SDD we disputed the decision at the Administrative Court in Rheinland Pfalz state on December 7, 2010. However, when the aforementioned court rejected our application on March 21, 2011, we appealed to the Higher Administrative Court, which is at the time of writing an ongoing legal process.
We are saddened by the false news published by certain media outlets after the Administrative Court rejection. Therefore we felt it necessary to highlight a few points in order to confute these groundless statements and to prevent any possible misunderstanding among the general public:
1.Kurdish Red Crescent was established legally in 1993 in accordance with the German laws of associations. It has been active for 21 years and is the only Kurdish humanitarian aid organisation. Its activities are limited to Germany. We are not affiliated with the so-called Kurdish Red Crescent as claimed by ANF news agency. However, certain other humanitarian organisations, including those under the name of Kurdistan Red Crescent are our sister organisations with whom we have joint humanitarian projects.
2.Kurdish Red Crescent has no political motivation; it selects the receivers with great care the when it offers them humanitarian assistance. Similarly, when it partners with other organisations it makes sure that they truly work for the public interest.
3.Because most of our staff and donors come from a Kurdish background makes it only natural for us to advertise with such Kurdish media outlets as Roj TV and Yeni Özgür Politika. Although the SSD is well aware of this fact, it prefers to politicize the matter by claiming that the Kurdish Red Crescent intends to support the PKK (the Kurdish acronym for Kurdistan Workers’ Party) by advertising with Roj TV and Yeni Özgür Politika, which they believe are affiliated with the PKK. Moreover, the primary duty of the SSD is to supervise whether the regulations are being followed by each organisation. When they detect a breach of regulations first they must send a legal warning to the organisation violating the regulations. If the organisation persistently violates the regulations then the SSD has the authority to resort to further legal action, such as preventing the activities of the organization. However, the SSD has failed to apply this procedure in our case, as it did not send us any legal warning before taking a legal action. Thus, the SSD decision is clearly a politicised and unlawful one.
4.Azadi Association is a Germany-based organisation that works for public welfare. We cooperate with Azadi since we are convinced that it sincerely seeks to assist anyone and everyone in need of aid, regardless of their political views. We do not believe that any humanitarian aid organisation has the right to discriminate people based on their political views. Fact is we are a humanitarian organisation, not a political one. As such we extend a helping hand to everyone regardless of their social, ethnic, religous or political background.
5.It is unprecedented to penalise an organisation that helps war-stricken people. It is beyond comprehension why the SSD would criminalise us for helping five Kurdish women fleeing from war.
6.The SSD also stated that we could not use the Red Crescent or the Red Cross symbols because only states are authorized to do so. Our argument that our logo was slightly different from the Red Crescent was dismissed.
7.We will continue to inform the public about the ongoing legal process.
Kurdistan Red Crescent