Peace in Kurdistan campaign is delighted to hear the announcement that the case against Adem Uzun, predicated on baseless and conspiratorial charges, has been dropped. Adem had been on remand having been released from prison in Paris, where he had been held since his arrest on 6 October 2012. Peace in Kurdistan campaign would like to thank everyone who became a Friend of Adem Uzun, signed our petition for Adem’s release and sent postcards to the French Justice Minister to demand his freedom. Here is a message Adem wrote to his supporters giving thanks:
Member of executive committee of KNK
The French Appeals Court has completely disregarded the French and Turkish state’s jointly engineered plot.
In this short letter I would like to extend to you my gratitude for the solidarity you have shown in the attainment of my freedom.
As a combined result of the effective campaigning that you started, the public’s hard work in exposing the conspiracy and our tireless legal struggle, the French Appeals Court has completely disregarded the French and Turkish state’s jointly engineered plot. The court’s decision clearly stated that there was no case to answer, as the methods employed by the French police and its intelligence services were illegal. This decision amounts to an approval by the court of our defence case which we made from the beginning; that this was a conspiracy.
Although this conspiracy was directly carried out against my political activities and my search for a peaceful and democratic solution to the Kurdish question; in essence this was a conspiracy against the Kurdish people and the Kurdish freedom movement. These conspiracies are a direct result of the just struggles of oppressed peoples (the Kurds in this instance) which are to be sacrificed for the joint economic interests of states. However, this time their plot has been foiled. The crucial factor in this success was the solidarity that you showed, your insistence on siding with a just cause and your persistent support for freedom and democracy struggles.
I would like to take this opportunity to state my happiness for once again being free among you and for having the opportunity to work with you; thank you for your solidarity. I would like to reiterate that we will continue to work together for a peaceful and democratic solution to the Kurdish question and remain in solidarity with all democratic struggles across the Middle East and the world.
06 March 2014
Last year, Peace in Kurdistan campaign and Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC) began a series of initiatives to pressure the French government to release Adem Uzun, a Kurdish peace activist and member of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) who was arrested in October 2012 in Paris. Adem Uzun had been a key negotiator for in the Oslo Peace Talks with high level Turkish government representatives and is well known for his commitment to a negotiated settlement to the Kurdish question in Turkey.
We designed and printed postcards to be sent to the Justice Minister of France, Christiane Taubira, demanding that they FREE ADEM UZUN. The postcard had a short text on the back and we asked people to sign and send them off to her.
We also coordinated the Friends of Adem Uzun Initiative, a coalition of over 200 public figures, lawyers, and politicians with expertise on the Kurdish question in Turkey, as well as community activists, grassroots campaigners, and trade unionists. The Friends was established to support the call for Adem Uzun’s release, and jointly sent an open letter to Christiane Taubira, Justice Minister of France, to urge French authorities to release him.
Below is list of signatories:
FREE ADEM UZUN
The Kurdish politician Adem Uzun was arrested in France on 6 October 2012. Having been denied bail, Adem remains in detention awaiting a trial which could be months away.
Adem Uzun is a prominent activist working to achieve peace through the resumption of negotiations between Turkey and the Kurds. A leading politician with the Kurdistan National Congress, KNK, Adem is well-known to anyone involved in the Kurdish issue, especially in the European Parliament, and has been one of the main Kurdish negotiators in the so-called “Oslo Process” with high-level Turkish Government’s representatives.
The charge against Adem Uzun is not supported by credible evidence. At the time of his arrest, Adem Uzun was in Paris to take part in preparations for a conference on Western Kurdistan (Syria), which was scheduled to take place on 13 October 2012.
We believe that the arrest of Adem Uzun, which has been made on Turkey’s request, is an attempt to undermine the search for a peaceful political resolution of the Kurdish question.
The prosecution intends to equate two separate organisations, the KNK with the PKK, in order to de-legitimise political efforts towards resolution of the conflict. This same tactic is today being used by Turkey to repress and silence the non-violent dissent of thousands of Kurdish politicians and activists.
The offence of belonging to a terrorist organisation in France and across the EU, is a highly politicised ‘crime by association’. It criminalises the entire Kurdish political movement by imputing activists to be the PKK, in the clear absence of any engagement in violence.
The EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) Conference, meeting in Brussels on 5th and 6th December, passed a special resolution calling on the French authorities to immediately release Adem Uzun. ‘’As a leading legitimate politician of the Kurdish political movement Mr. Uzun is well known for his advocacy of a democratic and peaceful solution to the Kurdish problem for which he was chosen to be one of the negotiators in the Oslo Peace Talks,’’ the EUTCC stated. The resolution urged the ‘’expeditious conclusion to his case by dropping the accusations against him’’.
Adem Uzun is fully committed to a peaceful settlement and we are concerned that peace and reconciliation will be much harder to achieve without the expertise of such a seasoned activist.
We strongly reiterate the demand to French authorities for our friend Adem Uzun’s immediate release and for the dropping of the baseless accusations.
We urge everyone who is committed to a peaceful political resolution of the Kurdish conflict to declare themselves friends of Adem Uzun and to add your voice to the calls for his release.
Friends of Adem
Estella Schmid, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign & CAMPACC; David Morgan, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign; Melanie Sirinathsingh, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign; Akif R Wan, KNK representative UK; Philip Khaled Brennan, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign; Paul Burnham, housing worker, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign; Les Levidow, Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC); Saleh Mamon, CAMPACC; Desmond Fernandes, CAMPACC; Anne Gray, retired academic, CAMPACC; Lord Rea, House of Lords; Sarah Ludford MEP; Andrew Duff MEP; Jean Lambert MEP; Jill Evans MEP; Jeremy Corbyn MP; Conor Murphy MP; Elfyn Llwyd MP; Hywel Williams MP; Mary Glindon MP; Frances Webber, human rights lawyer and writer; Elizabeth Forrester, lawyer; Alastair Lyons, lawyer; Margaret Owen OBE, international human rights lawyer; Prof Bill Bowring, Barrister, Director of the LLM/MA in Human Rights, School of Law Birkbeck, University of London; Hugo Charlton, barrister, 1 Grays Inn; John Hobson, lawyer; Melanie Gingell, barrister; Nick Hildyard, policy analyst; Jonathan Fryer, writer, lecturer and broadcaster; Tony Simpson, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation; Prof Mary Davis; Bruce Kent, Vice-President Pax Christi; Dr Dafydd Iwan, B.Arch., LL.D.,Plaid Cymru, the Party of Wales; Dr Felix Padel, Social Anthropologist, Author and Political Activist; Lindsey German, Convenor, Stop the War Coalition; Dr Vicki Sentas, School of Law, University of New South Wales, Sydney; Kariane Westrheim, PhD, Associate professor, University of Bergen, Chair of EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC); Dr Michael Gunter, Professor of Political Science, Tennessee Technological University, Secretary General of EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC); Rojin Tasman, Law student, Anglia Ruskin University; Azad Dewani, PhD researcher in Peace Studies, UK; Jonathan Bloch, councillor; Alain Hertzmann, Branch secretary London North West Branch 9708, UNITEtheunion, UK; Stephen Smellie, Deputy Convenor, UNISON Scotland; Fred Leplat, Socialist Resistance; Sarah Parker, translator; Ed McArthur, activist; Jagdeesh Singh of the 1984 Genocide Coalition; David Brunetti, photographer; Glyn Harries, Hackney Trades Union Council, personal capacity; David Ambrose, Performer, Writer, Director of Beyond The Border International Storytelling Festival; Mike Arnott, Secretary, Dundee Trades Union Council; Harem Karen, Kurdistan Tribune; Penny Dimond, Factory of the Eccentric Actor; Orsola Casagrande, journalist; Prof. Khatchatur I. Pilikian (SHS, LH, LSFC); Andy Higginbottom, Secretary of Colombia Solidarity Campaign; Kani Areef, UCL Law Postgraduate; Derwich M. Ferho, director of Kurdish Institute, Brussels; Mehmet Ali Dogan, Social-Anthropologist, France; Yuksel Guney, political activist; Jyan Avesta, Kurdistan LGBT Initiative and Halkevi, Kurdish-Turkish Community Centre; Manaz Baloch Baloch community UK activist; Hagir Ahmed, Sudanese community UK activist; Jennifer Langer Director, Exiled Writers Ink UK; Michael Mansfield QC, President of Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers; Liz Davies, barrister and chair of Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers; Kat Craig, Vice-Chair of Haldane Society; Gareth Peirce, human rights lawyer; Russell Fraser, pupil barrister, Haldane Society; Iratxe Urizar, Basque lawyer; Barry White, European Federation of Journalists (personal capacity); Ms Silvana Barbieri, Italy, human rights defender, Italian association “Puntorosso”; Mr Luigi Vinci, Italy, former MEP, editor of “Progetto Lavoro”; Tony Shito, Italian musician, song-writer, Italy; Martha Jean Baker, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; Maggie Bowden, General Secretary, Liberation; Robert Atkins, solicitor; Paul Heron, solicitor, Hackney Community Law Centre; Aviva Stahl, political activist; Sheila Mosley, human rights activist: Support Kurds in Syria – SKS (personal capacity); Handren Ashraf Naoman, General Director, European – Kurdistan Green Organization; Kadim Lacin, Journalist; Hoshyar K. Karadaghi, Chairman, Kurdish Personalities in the UK; Ali Ghahrmani, Kurdish Academic Network (KAN); Serdar Ulus, Architect, designer; Marouan Nabo, Human rights activist, President of Kurdistan House USA; Sylvia Novaes, Geologist, Free Consultant; Syed Gilani, solicitor; Asif Bhayat, activist; Anthony Bairstow, Fight Racism Fight Imperialism & Hands off Somalia; Hovarim Isse, youth worker; Greg Tonuczak, banker; Kyronne Parkes, FRFI & Hands off Somalia; Mohamed Hashi, Somali community; Maya de Souza, Green Party Councillor, Camden; Tom Foot, editor Camden New Journal; Chris De Hond, producer, journalist; Secunder Kermari, journalist; Kadim Lacin, journalist, UK; Hikmet Tabak, politician; Dr Ahmed Semo; Xusrew Zeki, human rights activist/KNK; Sahar Serdasht, student; Kristiina Koivunen PhD, independent scholar; Rabia Khan, student, Birkbeck College and Stop the War Coalition; Sema Thompson, interpreter; Chris Nineham, Stop the War Coalition; Huseyin Gok, self-employed; Birsan Demirel, translator; Rojda Yaman, student; Eylem Guler, solicitor, Archgate Solicitors; Ahmet Koz, self-employed; Insin Onder, software engineer; Madhi Hussein, student; Hasan Oymer, self-employed; Sait Akgul, legal consultant; Can Atas, pharmacist; Aladdin Srafa, self-employed, KCC; Dondu Demira, budget officer; Solman Kayim, student; Yusuf Golek, student; Ollie Sutherland, student; Birgil Yilmaz, student; Kurda Areef, student; Azad Masko, student; Anil Doner, student, SJC; Mehmet Meria, student, SJC; Jine Kalay, student; Fiat Kalay, student; Arif Bektas, journalist; Ata Mufty, journalist; Sherko Zemaloush, activist; Rebwan Salam; Ferhan Yildiz, student; Yasar Gonul, activist, KCC; Berivan Bottologlu; Fero Firat, interpreter, SWP; Mustafa Kadir, activist; F Maroofi, activist; A Amini, activist; D Abbas, academic; D Asaid, activist; Anne Crozier, teacher; Arzu Pesmen, political activist; Arman Banirad, Lawyer; Tim Gopsill, Editor, Free Press, Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom; Michael Ellman, solicitor; Kulka Iwona Bugno, sociologist; Neil Taylor, lawyer and Journalist; Ozlem J.Murray, law student; Can Yildiz, journalist; Latif Serihildan Takak & Carla Takak, Kurdistan Solidarity Ireland; Hoshyar K. Karadaghi, Chairman, Kurdish Personalities in the UK; Farman Khoshnaw, teacher, KPA-UK; Chyman Khatab, Accountant, Easyjet; Dr Sirwan Khafaf, retired university lecturer & veterinary surgeon, member of KPA-UK; Trifa Khafaf,Bsc. Chemistry, retired.member of KPA-UK; Julia Davidson, Secretary Scotland Against Criminalising Communities. Deniz Arbet, PHD law student, Queens University Belfast; Rinaldo Francesca, Liberation; Milan Milowitch, film-maker; Andrew Penny, writer and translator; Michael Baron, poet and writer; Rachel Bird, Project Coordinator; Housan Mamoud, Women’s Freedom in Iraq; Sait Keskin, PhD candidate in Kurdish Studies, University of Exeter; Fatima Keskin; Sipan Keskin, student; Fourat Keskin, student; Dilan Keskin, student; Shilan Keskin, student; Joe Ryan, Westminster Dioceses Justice and Peace Commission; Gareth Evans, writer; Lorna Martin, writer; Feryal Demirci, Hackney councillor; Gulay Icoj, Hackney Councillor; Ali Demirci, Haringey Councillor; Deniz Ozgurkerti, Hackney Councillor; A.D. Jwar Yuce, building contractor; Hogir Firat, unemployed; Abdulkodir Koban, businessman; Hussain Kondamir, worker; Selim Besci, geologist; Selina Bailey, housewife; Jude Zagros, factory worker; Malik Habib, plumber; Juan Efrin, IT consultant; Nidal Habidy, plumber; Hussein Maamo, photographer; Kawa Amin, medial Registrar; Amang Hassan, campaigner; Saddettin Aygun, factory workers; Serife Mehmet, musician; Cigdem Karaalioglu, Fed-Bir; Selda Aksoy, co-chair of Roj Women; Yilmaz Gul, Engineer; Ali Boyran, activist; Neskihay Sever, activist; Mahmet Erden, activist; Salman Kayim, activist; Arin Banirad, teacher; Turkan Ozcan, activist; Ercan Akbal, activist; Siner Arslen, activist.
Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Contacts: Estella Schmid and Melanie Sirinathsingh
Patrons: Lord Avebury, Lord Rea, Lord Dholakia, Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP, Jill Evans MEP, Jean Lambert MEP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Hywel Williams MP, Elfyn Llwyd MP, Conor Murphy MP, John Austin, Bruce Kent, Gareth Peirce, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, John Berger, Edward Albee, Margaret Owen OBE, Prof Mary Davis, Mark Thomas