AN APPEAL FOR SUPPORTING THE ‘FREEDOM FOR OCALAN’ CAMPAIGN
WRITE TO THE CONVENTION AGAINST THE PREVENTION OF TORTURE (CPT) TO ENSURE ÖCALAN’S SAFETY AND WELL BEING
In April 2016, UNITE and GMB, two of the biggest trade unions in the UK, together with a number of sympathetic MPs, launched the ‘Freedom for Öcalan’ campaign. This was the result of a UNITE and GMB delegation visiting the region and engaging in discussions with local groups on the ground. The unions are now totally convinced that a peaceful solution to the current conflict will only be found if the jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan is freed and allowed to play a full role in the development of a new peace process
For the Kurdish people and supporters across the world, the commitment of the two major UK unions to lead a campaign to build solidarity amongst trade unionists for the freedom of Öcalan is a significant initiative.
They have also launched a website for potential supporters (www.freedomforocalan.org <http://www.freedomforocalan.org/> ) We will deeply appreciate if could visit the website to support the campaign. You can sign the petition and also sign up for news from the campaign. Please circulate the information to your friends so that we can maximise the support for the campaign.
As you are well aware, the coup attempt in Turkey on 15th July 2016 proved to be unsuccessful, but has led to the most dangerous situation for democracy in Turkey. President Tayyip Erdogan has declared a state of emergency and gone well beyond arresting the coup plotters to suppressing political organisations, media outlets and imprisoning journalists.
In these volatile circumstances, we have grave concerns about the safety and well being of Abdullah Öcalan. This concern is shared by his family, his lawyers, the Kurdish people and the wider public. Unfortunately, the pronouncements and actions of the government do little to allay these concerns.
We also urge you you to write to the members of the Convention against the Prevention of Torture (CPT) to visit Öcalan at Imrali Island for a face to face meeting with him accompanied by his family and his lawyers (see letter attached). The CPT must demand that the Turkish government arrange this visit urgently. Only such a meeting will allay the concerns of millions of Kurds that their leader is safe and well.
Furthermore, we urge you to write to the Rt Hon Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary to seek assurance from the Turkish government that Öcalan is safe and well.
We look forward to your continuing support and solidarity
With best wishes
Saleh & Estella