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 The Long March for Kurdish Rights and Freedom for jailed Kurdish PKK leader Öcalan on its fifth day

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The Long March for Kurdish Rights and Freedom for jailed Kurdish PKK leader Öcalan on its fifth day  4.2.2012  

March will reach Swiss Federal parliament on Saturday. Photo: ANF
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February 4, 2012

LAUSANNE, — The Long March for Kurdish Rights and Freedom for jailed Kurdish PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan which started in Geneva on 1st February continues in the fourth day despite the perishing cold and heavy snowfall. Protestors on Friday staged a demonstration in front of the Place de Rumine building in Lausanne where the Treaty of Lausanne which divided Kurdistan into four parts was concluded on 24 July 1923.

Chanting slogans and carrying a banner “From Geneva to Strasbourg for Freedom and Justice”, demonstrators are moving towards the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Strasbourg city of France.

Different people from different age groups, beliefs, cultures and professions have so far joined the march.

Yesterday’s demonstration at Riponne square in front of Place de Rumine was joined and supported not only by Kurds in the city but also many Swiss politicians who in the area voiced their support messages for the long march. Speaking at the intense interest drawing demo, Social Democratic Federal Parliament MP Erick Vouruz said that; “I admire your determination to continue the march under these severe winter conditions. Kurds have gained their freedom owing to this determined struggle. What is left to us is only to respect this determination.”

Another speaker Social Democratic Federal Parliament MP Jofiame Oubert pointed out to the increasing pressure against Kurds and reacted to European countries as well as to the Turkish state. Oubert MP said the followings; “While Turkey’s policies against Kurds continue stringently,www.ekurd.net a very silent policy is conducted against the Kurds in Europe. The most recent example of this policy has been observed in Roj Tv case. However, the struggle you give here will push Europe for an exam of human rights.”

Following the speeches, demonstrators called on the international society for sensitivity and underlined that they would never accept the isolation on Öcalan and the non-status state of Kurds.

Demonstrators of the long march will today walk to the Swiss Federal Parliament building. Following a demonstration to be staged here, the march will continue towards Legnau.

The march is expected to reach Strasbourg on the 18 of February when a major demonstration will be held to protest the international conspiracy against PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) leader Abdullah Öcalan.

Since it was established in 1984, the PKK has been fighting the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to establish a Kurdish state in the south east of the country, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

But now its aim is the creation an autonomous Kurdish region and more cultural rights for ethnic Kurds who constitute the greatest minority in Turkey, numbering more than 20 million. A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.

PKK's demands included releasing PKK detainees, lifting the ban on education in Kurdish, paving the way for an autonomous democrat Kurdish system within Turkey, reducing pressure on the detained PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, stopping military action against the Kurdish party and recomposing the Turkish constitution.

Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish language and private Kurdish language courses with the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish politicians say the measures fall short of their expectations.

The PKK is considered as 'terrorist' organization by Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which overturned a decision to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its political wing on the European Union's terror list. 

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