WPC statement on Umut Kuruc

Friday, April 11, 2014
WIDF visit to Syria

The WPC expresses its categorical disapproval of the recent disciplinary measure of the UN High Commission for Refugees against Mrs. Umut Kuruc, representative of the Freedom and Equality for Women of Turkey, member of the Peace Association of Turkey (Baris Dernegi) and member of the Steering Committee of the Women International Democratic Federation (WIDF), by which Umut Kuruc was removed from her post as Senior Secretary of the UNCHR (based in Ankara) after having taken part in a WIDF delegation to Syria on 19-22 October 2013.

The action taken by the UNCHR is arbitrary and has clear political motivation, since the delegation of WIDF amongst other meetings and visits in Syria had also a meeting with the President of Syria Baschar al Assad. Umut Kuruc is being "punished" for her political and social engagement and for her commitment to peace and stability in the region. Coming from Turkey, where hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees are based, Umut Kuruc was and is concerned about the root causes for the drama of the refugees, expressing together with women from several countries (amongst them the President of WIDF Marcia Campos) their solidarity with the Syrian women and people.

The WPC denounces the ongoing plans for destabilization of Syria, the foreign armed interference by thousands of "holy warriors" inside Syria, which is endorsed and supported by USA, EU and its regional allies of Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia aiming at one more violent regime change.

Umut Kuruc was and is exactly pointing at this situation being concerned for the suffering of the Syrian people, therefore the measures against her are "punishing" her for her beliefs and social engagement.

The WPC demands from the UNHCR to remove the disciplinary measures and reinstall her to her post. The UNHCR as UN body has no right to interfere in this way in the conflict in Syria by intimidating members of its staff and representatives of International Organisations as the WIDF, which has also consultative status with the UN System.

The Secretariat of WPC
April 10, 2014