STUC Declares Solidarity with Kurdish Hunger Strikers and Condemns Criminalisation of Kurds in Scotland

Connor Hayes | 17 April 2019

On Tuesday, 16 April 2019, the 122nd annual Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC), which ran from 15-17 April and represents 37 trade unions and more than 540,000 people across Scotland, adopted a motion declaring their solidarity with the people around the world who have declared indefinite hunger strike to the protest the unlawful conditions of isolation imposed on imprisoned Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Ocalan. The emergency motion was proposed by Kathleen Kennedy of the Aberdeen Trade Union Council and Stephen Smellie, Depute Convenor of Unison union and co-convenor of Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan, and was adopted in a unanimous vote by the congress. Continue reading



FOR RELEASE 19/04/2019

Contact details

Address: Kurdish Community Centre, 119-121 Chepstow Road, Newport, NP19 8BZ



Phone: +44 (0) 7940 108 146



(NEWPORT, WALES) Today local residents and campaigners will take part in a solidarity fast at the Kurdish Community Centre in Newport. This fast is in solidarity with Imam Sis, the 32 year old Kurdish resident of Newport who has reached day 124 of his indefinite, non-alternating hunger strike. Continue reading

STUC supports Kurdish hunger strikers – report/press release

STUC supports Kurdish hunger strikers – report/press release

From the beginning, and the mention of Welsh Kurdish hunger striker Imam Sis in

Lynn Henderson’s presidential opening speech, the Kurds featured prominently at

this week’s Scottish Trade Union Congress.

An emergency motion, brought by Aberdeen Trades Council, whose secretary, Fiona

Napier, has visited the Kurdish hunger strikers in Strasbourg, mandated the STUC

General Council to show concrete support for the hunger strikers, and their demand

that Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan be allowed his basic human right to visits by

his family and his lawyer, by writing to the Council of Europe (of which Turkey is a

member), the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, and the UK foreign

Minister, as well as informing trade unionists about the hunger strike and

encouraging supportive actions. Continue reading


Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH

Dear Foreign Secretary,

We write to express our deep concern over the UK government’s position in its relations with Turkey as the human rights situation inside the country continues to deteriorate rapidly. In particular, we seek to urgently draw your attention to the 7,000 Kurdish political prisoners on hunger strike in Turkish prisons and the solidarity hunger strikes now spreading across Europe, including in the UK.  Seven Kurdish political prisoners in Turkey have taken their own lives in the last three weeks.

The hunger strikers are demanding urgent action to end the persecution of the Kurdish people in Turkey as embodied in the person of Abdullah Ocalan who has been kept in a state of aggravated solitary confinement for approaching 20 years: an inhuman punishment in breach of both domestic laws and international conventions to which Turkey is a signatory. Continue reading



  1. Comrade of Bobby Sands: The silence is shameful
  2. Sinn Féin: Irish peace deal must be protected from Brexit crisis
  3. Day 113 of indefinite hunger strike in Strasbourg
  4. Leyla Guven: 152 days on hunger strike against isolation
  5. “Stand against the Turkish state invasion”
  6. Autonomous Administration proposes congress on ISIS prisoners
  7. Hundreds rallied in Wales in solidarity with hunger strikers
  8. Hunger strike resistance continues in many prisons and houses. Newly-elected Kurdish mayors in Turkey under investigation after celebrating victory

Continue reading


The Canary is an independent media organisation based in the UK. It has been providing a platform to cover a range of Kurdish issues and to highlight the repressive actions of the Turkish state.

 The Canary was part of the UK delegation monitoring and reporting on the general election in Turkey in 2018 and the local elections in 2019.

 UK editor Emily Apple was part of the both delegations and also went to Amed in March in response to a call for an international women’s forum in support of Leyla Güven and the hunger strikers. 

Coverage of local elections: Continue reading

Court of Last Resort in Brussels: Belgian Anti-Terror Law Not Applicable in PKK Proceedings PKK Is Party to a Conflict According to International Law

On March 8, proceedings ended before the Court of Last Resort in Brussels whose result is of great importance well beyond the borders of Belgium, particularly with regard to international law.

A look back: In 2010, a large squad of police was used to search legal Kurdish organizations and production sites of Kurdish television in Belgium and to arrest several representatives of the Kurdish National Congress (KNC). The investigations led to the levelling of charges by the prosecution against some 40 persons who were accused of collecting donations, propaganda, and recruitment for the PKK. In a second case, a Syrian Kurd was charged with having exported communication equipment to Erbil in Northern Iraq, equipment that the prosecution claimed was transferred further to the Kurdish HPG guerrilla. Continue reading

NEWS BRIEFING March-April 2019


  1. Owen Joins Hunger Strike
  2. British Human Rights Lawyer Owen: Support the hunger strikers
  3. Kurdish hunger strikers saluted at 8 March rally in London
  4. Paris 8 March celebration commended Leyla Güven
  5. HPG-YJA Star guerrillas celebrate April 4
  6. Isis women must be repatriated and de-radicalised
  7. Women, children leaving IS stronghold overwhelm Syrian camp
    8. Six years of YPJ: growing and changing society – PART I
  8. Kurdish women prepare for a life after IS. VIDEO
  9. Pictures of the Day: 28 March 2019
  10. Syria: Women must play active role in shaping the country’s future | Amnesty International
  11. Elections, expense scandals and Women’s Day in Turkish headlines
  12. Erdogan slams women’s day rally over ‘rude’ behaviour
  13. HDP women win big in Turkey elections despite party setbacks

Continue reading


Writing poetry, in a way, is a quest for freedom

Freedom Poems for Öcalan Spreads V2

Abdullah Ocalan


Press release, 4 April 2019

The poems collected in this volume are presented to Abdullah Ocalan on his 70th birthday on 4 April 2019.

They are each a gesture of solidarity and token of friendship for Ocalan himself and for the Kurdish people from whom he is inseparable.

Each poem is an expression of admiration for the spirit of the Kurds, inspired by their resilience, resistance and belief in the joy of life. The remarkable awakening of the consciousness and political activism of the Kurdish people in recent years has been engendered by the remarkable leadership and writings of Abdullah Ocalan. Despite enduring decades of incarceration removed entirely from the world, his people and denied all human contacts, Ocalan still communicates through his words and as a living example of the essential strength of the Kurdish spirit. He will not and cannot be silenced. Continue reading

Margaret Owen joins Hunger Strike



Margaret Owen OBE joins Hunger Strike. Maxine Peake to address the public meeting at 7pm.

On Tuesday 2nd April Margaret Owen OBE, lawyer, Patron of Peace in Kurdistan, and Director of Widows Through Peace and Democracy will commence a hunger strike in solidarity with Kurdish hunger strikers across Europe, calling for an end to the unlawful prison conditions of Abdullah Ocalan the jailed Kurdish leader.  Owen has been a passionate advocate for Kurdish rights for many years, and now at the age of 86 has decided to take this very significant step. Continue reading