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

OPEN LETTER TO THE UK FOREIGN SECRETARY JEREMY HUNT

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

CANARY COVERAGE ON ELECTION AND HUNGER STRIKE

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

Statement by Yuksel Koc on day 64 of the Strasbourg hunger Strike

Adresse: Rue de Porto 132, 4020 Liège / BELGIQE TEL 003271318719 . Email: info@kcdk-e.com

TO THE EUROPEAN PUBLIC OPINION

Dear Friends:

 

I, Yüksel Koç, am 55 years old and the father of two children.  Since my arrival in Germany 30 years ago, I have been employed and also active in politics.  At the moment, I am co-chair of the European Democratic Kurdish Society Congress (KCDK-E), the largest Kurdish non-governmental organization in Europe, which includes 457 institutions and associations across Europe.  Since 17 December 2018, my 12 comrades and I, as part of the Freedom for Öcalan Initiative, have been on an indefinite hunger strike in Strasbourg.  We are on the 64thday of this action, and our health is deteriorating. Continue reading

OPEN LETTER TO THORBJORN JAGLAND, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE

Dear Mr Jagland

 RE: TURKEY’S NON-COMPLIANCE WITH ‘NELSON MANDELA RULES’ AND THE CASE OF ABDULLAH OCALAN AND POLITICAL PRISONERS IN TURKEY

 The Council of Europe’s abject failure to condemn Turkey’s treatment of prisoners cannot be excused and now threatens to undermine the credibility of the core values of the European Convention on Human Rights.

As you well know, the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners was first adopted by the UN in 1957. They were revised in 2015 and adopted as ‘Nelson Mandela Rules’ unanimously by the UN General Assembly to honour the legacy of the late President of South Africa, ‘who spent 27 years in prison in the course of his struggle for global human rights, equality, democracy and the promotion of a culture of peace’. Continue reading

REPORT ON ABUSES OF RIGHTS, LATEST DEVELOPMENTS AND CURRENT STATE OF IMRALI PRISON 2018

 

  1. INTRODUCTION

2018 has been a year when anti-democratic form of government was institutionalized and deepened in Turkey. The emergency rule, declared on 15-20 July 2016, has been unlawfully rendered permanent by the decree laws which were supposed to be temporary. As it is frequently encountered in the history of 20-year İmralı Isolation System, the most important reflection of this situation was experienced in İmralı Prison. The arbitrary and unlawful isolation until July 15, 2016, continued by the Decree Laws based on the emergency rule. Then, especially in the year 2018, the Decree Laws were transformed into law and isolation continued in disguise of the law. However, it should be noted that the continuation of these practices under the law will not give them legal qualifications and cannot prevent them from being condemned according to universal human rights measures. Continue reading

LETTER FROM A KURDISH POLITICAL PRISONER TO MARGARET OWEN

Our dear friend Margaret Owen;

We greet you with the excitement and enthusiasm of hunger strikes that began with comrade Leyla Guven and which became widespread with us, political prisoners. We send our sincere greetings, love and respect to you and our dear friends who came from the UK together with you and other countries to share the message of solidarity and supported us, the revolutionary prisoners who are on a hunger strike. Together with my five other comrades in this prison, we have been in absolute resistance since December 2018 to break the absolute isolation (quarantine) on our leader. Until this isolation on Leader Apo is not removed, our action will continue at the expense of our death and we will continue. Continue reading