Bring Anna Home - Taking the Fight to Strasbourg

by Dirk Campbell

Bring Anna Home - Taking the Fight to Strasbourg

by Dirk Campbell
Dirk Campbell
Case Owner
My name is Dirk Campbell. Many of you will know me as being the father of Anna Campbell, who travelled to Syria to join the Kurdish resistance against Daesh (ISIS).
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Dirk Campbell
Case Owner
My name is Dirk Campbell. Many of you will know me as being the father of Anna Campbell, who travelled to Syria to join the Kurdish resistance against Daesh (ISIS).
Pledge now

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Latest: May 26, 2022

We've reached our target!

We've done it! Thanks to all you stars who have contributed, this is amazing! I am confident that the legal action will succeed. I want it to do two things: inform the world of Erdogan's geno…

Read more

 My daughter’s story

For those who might not have followed my previous campaign, in March 2018 my daughter was killed in Afrin, North-western Syria, by a Turkish air strike. 

Anna was fighting with the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which has been supported in its fight against ISIS by the UK.  However, more concerned about the Kurds at its borders than the threat of ISIS, Turkey launched a missile strike on the YPG, which resulted in the death of my daughter. 

Anna was a beautiful loving daughter, a feminist, an activist, a woman of courage who dedicated her life to fight for a better world for the rest of us.

Anna’s remains still lie on the battlefield in Afrin, which is now Turkish controlled territory.  We know the exact location.  The British Government has failed to take any meaningful action and my requests to the Turkish Government have gone unheeded. 

The previous campaign

As some of you know, I instructed leading human rights lawyers, McCue Jury & Partners, to represent me and to make formal representations to the Turkish Government for their breaches of international law in failing to properly deal with deaths resulting from war in their territories.  

However, given the legal complexities and costs involved in bringing this case, my lawyers have now been required to work pro bono for well over a year.

We have instructed a barrister in Turkey who, in May 2021, wrote on my behalf to the relevant Turkish authorities asking again for Anna’s remains and belongings to be returned to her family.  We received no reply. 

In July 2021, we made an application to the Administrative Court in Turkey seeking to enforce our, and Anna’s, rights through the Turkish courts.  

Turkey has not engaged with our application in any substantive manner.  First, our case was transferred to another court, and then (earlier this month) we were told we were not entitled to any remedy.

The Turkish legal process has been painfully slow from the start.  It is becoming abundantly clear that we will get no justice in Turkey.

What we can do

As I have not received any redress from the Turkish Government and seem to have no hope of doing so, I am ready to take my case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. 

Turkey has violated its international human rights obligations by failing to return Anna’s remains or to properly account for the events that led to her death.

Turkey has a long history of disregarding international law in this way, and this must end.  

The European Court of Human Rights can hold Turkey to account for its failures.  It will consider my application and, if successful, will declare that the Turkish Government has violated my human rights and that Anna’s remains should be returned to her family. 

Perhaps, finally, the Turkish Government will be forced to adhere to fundamental humanitarian law and start to treat those who are suffering from their actions with basic human dignity.  

How you can help

I need to raise funds to cover the current and future costs of making my application to Strasbourg.  Every penny donated will go towards the funding of the progression of my case.  

I am represented by solicitors McCue Jury & Partners LLP and barrister Dr. Austen Morgan who is an expert in this area of law.

Many of you have already been so generous in supporting me to get this far.  I can’t tell you how much this means to me.  

I believe that bringing a Human Rights claim at the Strasbourg Court is my last and only hope to return my daughter’s remains to the UK and to also hold Turkey accountable for their unacceptable behaviour.  

I simply could not continue this fight for justice without you.  Thank you.

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Update 1

Dirk Campbell

May 26, 2022

We've reached our target!

We've done it! Thanks to all you stars who have contributed, this is amazing! I am confident that the legal action will succeed. I want it to do two things: inform the world of Erdogan's genocide against the Kurds and get him to accept he can no longer commit human rights abuses without consequence.

I hope that this is not the only action that will result from Erdogan's crimes against humanity. Kurds who have suffered from Erdogan's brutality, whether in Kurdistan or in the countries where they have been forced to flee, can take heart and hopefully pursue class actions to get redress from Turkey.

With profound gratitude for your generosity, all who have supported this cause in whatever way.

Dirk

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