Belgium’s Court of Appeal rules that the PKK is not a terrorist organisation

PEACE IN KURDISTAN

In a significant ruling made on 14 September 2017, the Belgium Court of Appeal ruled that the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) is not a terrorist organisation as defined by Belgian law. Rather, the PKK is ‘a party to an armed conflict as defined by and subject to international humanitarian law’. The government of the United Kingdom classified the PKK as terrorists in 2001 and the European Union did so the following year. It is testimony to the determination of the Kurds to fight for justice and the legitimacy of their cause that the Belgium Court of Appeal has now reversed the previous definition. It is to be hoped that the Belgium Court’s decision will set a precedent that other judicial bodies will follow. Continue reading

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CONCERN OVER THE WELL BEING OF MR ABDULLAH OCALAN

Kurdistan National Congress (KNK)

URGENT CALL TO THE EU-INSTITUTIONS, PRESS & PUBLIC

KURDISH PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE WELL-BEING OF KURDISH PEOPLE’S LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN

There is  worrying news surrounding the health of the Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Ocalan. For two days, news has been spreading on social media that Mr Ocalan has died in prison. We as the Kurdish people are deeply concerned about Mr Ocalan’s life. Continue reading

DEMOCRATIC CONFEDERALISM: THE ALTERNATIVE TO TYRANNY AND CHAOS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Public Forum
Organised by Peace in Kurdistan in association with Centre for Kurdish Progress

 Monday, 23 October, 7-9pm in Committee Room 11, Houses of Parliament, Westminster

The meeting is hosted by Kate Osamor MP and chaired by the journalist Steve Sweeney

 Speakers include Dr Radha D’Souza Reader in Law, Westminster University ; Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley lecturer in Political Sociology, the University of Cambridge; Dimitri Roussopoulos publisher, author and community organiser; De Zeynap Kurban, Kurdish Women’s Movement. Continue reading

Delegation Report of the visit to Iraqi Kurdistan – Unite and Centre for Kurdish Progress

  1. Executive Summary:
  • Contained in the pages that follow is a report of a recent delegation visit to Iraqi Kurdistan that took place between 17th and 22nd July 2017. The delegation consisted of the Director of International for UNITE the Union and the Director of the Centre for Kurdish Progress;
  • The delegation met with a whole range of people and organisations including Members of Parliament, the Speaker of the Kurdistan Parliament, The KRG government’s official spokesperson, senior figures from various political parties, representatives of civil society,

Continue reading

Belgian Court Rules that the PKK is Not a Terrorist Organisation.

Case Commentary.
On the 14 September of this year a judgement was handed down in the case of a group of Kurdish activists who faced trial on terrorism charges in Belgium. The defendants were acquitted as the  court found that the PKK is not a terrorist organisation but rather a party to an internal armed conflict in Turkey.
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This case in the Belgian Court of Appeal centred around the Defence proposition that the activities which the prosecution relied on to make out a case of terrorism occurred in the context of an internal armed conflict in Turkey and should therefore be governed by the rules of international humanitarian law rather than domestic terror provisions.

The question that fell to be considered by the court was whether or not the PKK was involved in an armed conflict in Turkey. If it was, then the domestic criminal law of Belgium would not apply and the matter would be subject to the Geneva Conventions, in international law. Continue reading

WE SALUTE OUR FRIEND MEHMET AKSOY

It is with deep sadness and horror that we learn of the death of Mehmet Aksoy who has been killed in the fight against Islamic State (ISIS) on 26 September 2017.

A dynamic Kurdish activist and talented young film maker, Mehmet died while working in Raqqa where he had journeyed in order to record the experiences of the Kurdish fighters in their resistance to ISIS.

His death is a tremendous loss: it is not simply a terrible and grievous personal loss to his family, friends and comrades, with whom we mourn, but it is a great loss to the Kurdish movement.

Mehmet was totally dedicated to the cause of Kurdish freedom which he expressed in all his activities and in the choices he made.

He was a capable leader who could inspire others by his transparent integrity and honest commitment. Leading by example he was successful in galvanising Kurdish youth to take action to demonstrate their opposition to ISIS and in support of the people of Kobane.

He touched the lives of all who knew him and contributed immensely to the eventual liberation of his people and to the building of a better world for everyone.

He will be remembered for his intelligence, cheerful and affable nature and by his total dedication.

Continue reading

Global Hasankeyf Action Day

Ambassador
Mr Abdurrahman Bilgic
Turkish Embassy UK
43 Belgrave Square
London SW1X 8PA

Dear Ambassador,
We write as civil society groups, public intellectuals, parliamentarians and concerned global citizens to express our support for protests today in Turkey and elsewhere around the world against the planned Ilisu Dam in SE Turkey and the wanton destruction of globally important cultural heritage that this will involve.

The dam has been rejected for funding by governments in several European Union countries and by the World Bank, due to its social, environmental, cultural and downstream impacts. If completed, it would destroy the livelihoods of up to 80.000 people, mainly Kurds, in 199 villages and Hasankeyf. The vast majority would end up in poverty and debt. Hasankeyf and hundreds of more sites of 12.000 human history would be flooded without to be excavated seriously, a “development” with the culture, history and nature would be made impossible. The mostly natural river ecosystems of up to 400 km length would also be affected without the impacts having been properly investigated. The impacts on people in Iraq, particularly in the southern Mesopotamian Marshes, would be extremely grave too as they depend mainly on the rivers for agriculture and drinking water supply.
Continue reading

 Worldwide actions for Hasankeyf! Stop Ilisu Dam!

+++ Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive +++

23.09.2017, Statement on the 2nd Global Hasankeyf Action Day

Today in 16 cities actions have been organized against the Ilisu Dam at the Tigris River, one of the most worldwide controversial dams. If completed the Ilisu Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant Project with its expected grave social, ecological, cultural and downstream impacts would become a large scale disaster.
Continue reading

LABOUR PARTY 2017 FRINGE MEETING

Resisting dictatorship in Turkey and building a democratic alternative in Syria – the critical role of the Kurds in defining a new Middle East.

Tuesday 26 September, 12.30 – 14.00

The Charlotte Room, The Grand Hotel, Brighton

 Speakers

Chair: Simon Dubbins – Director of International UNITE
Julie Ward – MEP
Bedia Özgökçe – HDP MP for Van, Turkey
Havin Guneser – International Initiative Freedom for Ocalan – Peace in Kurdistan
Dilar Dirik – Activist of the Kurdish Women’s movement and Cambridge University
Ibrahim Dogus – Director, Centre for Kurdish Progress
Paul Maskey – Sinn Fein MP

All Labour Party delegates and friends welcome

Buffet lunch and refreshments provided Continue reading

TUC FRINGE MEETING: Resisting dictatorship in Turkey and building a democratic alternative in Syria – the critical role of the Kurds in defining a new Middle East.

TUC 3

Freedom for Ocalan  Peace in Kurdistan TUC 2017 Fringe Meeting
TUC Kurdish Struggle Leaflet_5

Speakers
Chair – Simon Dubbins, Unite the Union Director of International
Christine Blower – NUT International Secretary
Michelle Allison – Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) women representative
Stephen Smellie – Branch Secretary, UNISON South Lanarkshire
Doug Nicholls – General Secretary, General Federation of Trade Unions
Elif Sarican – Kurdistan Students Union

Tuesday 12th September, 12.45 The Regent Room, The Grand Hotel

All TUC delegates and friends welcome
Buffet lunch and refreshments provided Continue reading