(VIDEO) Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival 2019 – Interview with Simon Dubbins

The Freedom for Öcalan trade union campaign interviewed Simon Dubbins, co-chair of the campaign and International Director at Unite the Union at the 2019 Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival. We asked Simon about his thoughts on the progress and future of the campaign, the international situation and the engagement of UK politicians in the Kurdish struggle.

The Freedom for Öcalan campaign is a UK trade union-backed initiative to secure the release of imprisoned Kurdish political prisoner Abdullah Öcalan.

In 2017 the annual meeting of the TUC voted unanimously for a motion calling for Mr Öcalan’s immediate release and a return to peace talks between Turkey and representatives of the Kurdish people.

 

Gildernew meets Kurdish hunger strikers 

For immediate release
9 May 2019 
 
Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew has called on the Turkish authorities to release Kurdish political leader Abdullah Öcalan and the thousands of imprisoned Kurdish hunger strikers.

Speaking after meeting Kurdish hunger strikers in London today, the Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP said:

“I met today with Kurdish political activists who are on hunger strike in London calling for an end to the isolation and the release of Kurdish political leader Abdullah Öcalan. 

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UK to raise issue of Kurdish hunger strikers with Turkey

http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/ff4f6ae4-6480-41fa-a058-4c99362ab956

Kurdistan 24 reports today

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Statement from Leyla Guven and other HDP deputies:

The statement of the HDP deputies said the following;
“After eight years, Mr. Öcalan has had a meeting with his lawyers. This meeting is historic and of great importance. However, it also brings into question “In what kind of a country are we living that we feel happy over a visit of lawyers that has been arbitrarily and unlawfully prohibited so far?” True, we are all experiencing a bittersweet happiness. Bodies have been melting away to make sure that this meeting takes place. 8 young people have ended their lives for this visit to take place. Our mothers are dragged on the ground every day in order for this meeting to take place, in order for this state to implement its own laws, in order for laws to be equal for everyone.

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KCK: Isolation hasn’t ended, demands haven’t been met

ANF, Behdinan, Tuesday 7 May 2019

KCK: “The isolation hasn’t ended, and the demands of the resistance haven’t been met. The lawyers’ visit to Imrali was planned only to ease the domestic and foreign pressure created by the resistance to break the isolation.”

Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) Executive Council Co-presidency issued a written statement after the meeting Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Ocalan had with his lawyers on May 2 was announced to the public and said: “As the Kurdish people and the forces of democracy objected to the isolation, so do the peoples of the world and forces of democracy. The struggle against the isolation has gone beyond the borders of Kurdistan and Turkey and reached an international level. The struggle against the isolation has been assumed by the whole of humanity in the person of Kurdish mothers with white scarves.”

Lawyers for Abdullah Öcalan publicly read his letter, following their historic meeting with the Kurdish leader.

Lawyers for Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan held a press conference at the Taksim Hill Hotel in Istanbul regarding the meeting they were allowed with their client. The conference was attended by lawyers Faik Özgür Erol, Newroz Uysal and Rezan Sarıca from Asrın Law Office.

The meeting between Öcalan and his lawyers on May 2nd lasted one hour. The meeting was the first one held since 27 July 2011 when the Kurdish leader was last allowed to meet with his lawyers. Since then, lawyers for Öcalan submitted a total of 810 appeals to visit him on Imralı Island Prison.

Full text of the statement read by lawyer Newroz Uysal on Monday, with the signature of Abdullah Öcalan and three other prisoners on Imralı, is as follows;

“TO THE PUBLIC

There is a need for a deep social reconciliation in this historic process we are experiencing.

There is an urgent need for a method of democratic negotiations, far removed from any and all polarization and culture of conflict for the solution of problems.

We can solve the problems in Turkey, and even in the region, starting with the war, with soft power – with intelligence and political and cultural strength instead of tools of physical violence.

We believe that through the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), all should aim to solve the issues in Syria by refraining from conflict culture and within the perspective of local democracy guaranteed by the Constitution in the framework of Syria’s unity. As such, Turkey’s sensibilities should be minded.

With all due respect for the resistance of friends in and outside of prisons, we would like to stress that they should not take it to the level to threaten their health or result in deaths. For us, their mental, physical and spiritual health is above all. We also believe that the most meaningful approach is connected to developing a mental and spiritual stance.Our stance in Imrali is to deepen and clarify the method of expression we declared with the Newroz 2013 statement and to continue on this path.For us, a dignified peace and democratic political solution are paramount.

We commend all who were concerned and all who took a stand with respect due to our stance in Imrali, and we would like to offer our immense gratitude.

A. ÖCALAN     H. YILDIRIM    Ö. H. KONAR    V. AKTAŞ”

Imrali narrated by Maxine Peake

On the eve of the release of the short film and documentary “Imrali” narrated by Maxine Peake, The Freedom for Ocalan campaign had the opportunity to speak with one of the filmmakers, Jon Spaull about his experiences making this important film.

Jon Spaull was invited to produce the film together with the writer and long-time international election observer John Hunt. Jon has been a filmmaker and photographer for 20 years his work has appeared in film, television, international film festivals and the web. He’s worked in 50 countries with NGO’s, Trade Unions and TV Channels in Ghana and South Africa as well as Community TV in the UK. His photography has also appeared in The Economist, The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, The Daily and Sunday Telegraph and The Times. Continue reading

PR: First Mandela. Now Öcalan. Why is Amnesty afraid to campaign for those fighting for the liberation of their people?

To the Press and Public,

First Mandela. Now Öcalan. Why is Amnesty afraid to campaign for those fighting for the liberation of their people?

As the Hunger Strikers protesting inside Amnesty International Headquarters in London we would like to inform the public of Amnesty’s human rights abuses by denying water, fresh air and use of the toilet during protest over their failure to stand up for basic human rights.

Amnesty international is deliberately ignoring the demands of millions of Kurds in their continued refusal to stand up for human rights and international law over the continued isolation of Abdullah Ocalan. Continue reading

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