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 Freedom for jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan, International Campaign

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Freedom for jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan, International Campaign  5.9.2012  





 
Abdullah Ocalan during a demonstration asking for Ocalan's liberation on February 16, 2012 in front of the Europeen Parliament in Strasbourg. Already over a thousand notable people worldwide have signed an international petition demanding freedom for Abdullah Öcalan. Abdullah Öcalan has a high symbolic value for most Kurds in Turkey and other parts of Kurdistan. Ocalan, 64, is the founder of the outlawed Turkey Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which took up arms for self-rule in the Kurdish region in southeast of Turkey (Northern Kurdistan). Photo: Getty Images.
 
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September 5, 2012

BRUSSELS, Belgium,— The international campaign “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan” will be launched on 6th September at 10.30am in the Résidence Palace and the International Press Centre (IPC-Rue de la Loi, 155 – Bloc C, 1040 Bruxelles).

Already over a thousand notable people worldwide have signed an international petition demanding freedom for Abdullah Öcalan and the political prisoners in Turkey. They are of the opinion that Öcalan's freedom would mean a breakthrough in Turkey's democratization and a peace process in Kurdistan.

The Kurdish question is more relevant today than ever before. It affects Iraq, Iran, Syria and especially Turkey,
www.ekurd.net and represents the biggest – and still unresolved – problem in the Middle East. The conflict between the Turkish State and the Kurdish freedom movement still continues.

Although it is more than clear that the demands of the Kurdish people for their cultural and political rights are no longer going to be resolved by a military solution, the bloody conflict continues because the necessary steps towards a peaceful resolution have not been taken.

At the press conference, the first signatories will speak about both the motive behind the campaign and the importance of Abdullah Öcalan’s release

from prison in the broader quest for a resolution to the Kurdish question. It is only through genuine bilateral negotiations with the legitimate political representative of the Kurdish people that lasting peace can be secured.

The following persons will be attending:

• Ayla Akat, Member of Parliament, Women's Initiative "Freedom for Öcalan", Turkey

• Andrej Hunko, Member of Parliament, Member of PACE, Germany

• Luisa Morgantini, former Vicepresident of the European Parliament, Italy

• Joe Ryan, Chair of Westminster Justice and Peace, United Kingdom

• N. N., Movement against racism and for friendship between peoples MRAP), France

• Reimar Heider, International Initiative "Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan– Peace in Kurdistan", Germany.

Ocalan, 64, is the founder of the outlawed Turkey Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which took up arms for self-rule in the mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey (Turkey-Kurdistan). Ocalan had been forced from his long-time home in Syria by Turkish pressure in 1998, embarked on an odyssey through several European countries and ended up in the residence of the Greek ambassador in Nairobi. He was on his way from there to the airport on Feb 15 1999 when he was arrested by Turkish agents and put on a plane to Turkey.

Following the arrest, violent protests by Kurds erupted all over Europe. Ocalan was put on trial on the heavily guarded prison island of Imrali in the Sea of Marmara near Istanbul and sentenced to death. His sentence was later commuted to life in prison,
www.ekurd.net after Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2002. Ocalan was the only prisoner for a decade until new prisoners arrived on November 2009, after the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) criticised Ankara for violating Ocalan's human rights by keeping him in solitary confinement.  He is allowed only visits from close relatives and his lawyers.

Ocalan has a high symbolic value for most Kurds in Turkey and other parts of Kurdistan.

Copyright ©, respective author or news agency, firatnews.com | ekurd.net | Agencies
 

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