MAF-DAD – These are the Kurdish words for law and justice. We chose this combination
–    as a hint at the situation of the Kurdish people, which is characterised by oppression and injustice;
–    We also chose it as a tribute to the demands of the Kurds for law and justice.
On World Peace Day, September1, 2006, the MAF-DAD association was founded by several German, Turkish and Kurdish lawyers, human rights activists and others.


We agreed to pursue the following goals:

•    Critical Observation of the EU-Turkey accession negotiations
•    Advancement of the development of democratic structures in Turkey
•    Defence and promotion of civil liberties and human rights

Being lawyers living in Germany, we find it unacceptable to remain idle with respect to  notorious human rights violations in a world that is becoming more and more of a global village everyday. We are aware of the fact, that there are several organisations of lawyers and  human rights activists already doing a very good and valuable job. Being part of this tradition we would like to add to this potential by working on issues that we feel have not been dealt with sufficiently until today.

As MAF-DAD we want to

– observe the law reforms in Turkey during the EU-accession process. Moreover, we want to work

  together with social organizations, jurists and human rights’ experts in Turkey

– be proactive in the EU political bodies and sensitise the politicians responsible for our concerns, in

  order to avoid laws concerning human rights and civil liberties being superimposed economic interests
  and national security considerations

– initiate a discussion among the European population aiming at strengthening the dialogue between

  cultures and increasing the awareness of human rights violations

–  politically and legally pursue crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Kurds

– fight islands of lawlessness like Guantanamo and Imrali as well as the use of solitary confinement

  and other degrading detention conditions. We will the situations and conditions, where people are
  exposed to some kind of special treatment depriving them of their human and civil rights.
We do not want to allow the attacks all over the world to be used as a pretext of the abolishment of democratic achievements. We want to live in a world both safe and democratic. We do not wish to be incited to fight each other nor do we want to be compelled to take sides. We oppose the anti-terror laws, which reflect these developments. We will object to them in Europe, Turkey and Kurdistan.

We, the MAF-DAD, know that the present clashes in Turkey are to be misused to justify  anti-democratic political action. At the same time, attempts are being made in Turkey at creating areas beyond the rule of law, while trying to persuade the people that there are individuals and groups among them not entitled to civil liberties and human rights. In time, there is a danger that the whole country may become an area of lawlessness, where the rights of all citizens may be violated. The state of emergency might become the rule. Those special laws passed solely with Abdullah Öcalan in mind, might also be used on all citizens in Turkey in the future.

We, the MAF-DAD, know that similar conclusions are also true for other countries. In Europe, too, discriminatory action, which in the beginning may have been directed at a particular group, might later be extended on major parts of the people. We wish to emphasise the fact, therefore, that we feel it necessary to also closely watch the situation of the Kurds in Germany.  Moreover, we think it essential for us, that we keep an eye on all legislative action with respect to the freedom of organization, the freedom of speech, and the freedom of the press.

Juristic struggle also needs to involve practical legal action against concrete injustice.  We, therefore, intend to monitor some exemplary legal cases in order to find out, in how far codified rights are being observed. To this end, we will organise conferences, activities, and seminars, set up or participate in inquiry committees, write reports etc. By and by, our legal fight shall lead to progress in legislation and the implementation of law, which will, as we hope, eventually result in an increased interest and trust in a peaceful  living-together of all people. In this spirit, by means of our legal struggle, we wish to promote a culture of peace and reconciliation.

These are the guidelines of our work. Human rights and the state of law are important accomplishments. We wish to stand up for them.

You can also contribute to this by working with us.
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