• Turkey: International Observers Denied Access to Demirtas’ Trial As Arrests and Detentions Continue

    By 

    IMG_1447-500x540

    Myself and the other international observers were in a sombre mood as we boarded the bus that would take us to the Sincan prison court so we could watch the trial of Selahattin Demirtas. This was due to developments in Turkey over the past few days and most of us expected that, despite assurances given to us last December, we would not be granted admission to the trial.

    Upon arriving at our destination these grave expectations were proven correct. We were not allowed to enter the court. Our party joined the crowds of angry people, including diplomats who were British, Canadian, US, Norwegian, Danish, the foreign press and solidarity action groups, in pushing at the gate, hoping to get inside the courtroom.

    IMG_1447(From left to right) Margaret outside court with Bente Knagenhjelm and Ali Has

     

    IMG_2697(From right to left) Margaret outside court with Leila Khaled, Michel Laurent and Sylvie Jan France

     

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  • Defend the People of Afrin Platform Letter Delivered to New Scotland Yard on 14 February 2018

     

    Zerdest Zagrosi
    ez@zerdest.org
    07387157198
    33 Dalston Lane
    London
    E8 2PE

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    is an appalling injustice that the Kurdish community in the UK is being subjected to severe harassment under Terrorism legislation through night raids, port stops, questioning by MI5, and disproportionate and violent policing of demonstrations, despite the tireless campaigns that we have organised over the years against ISIS terrorism.

    We deeply regret the fact that this targeting is occurring in the UK, a country in which the Kurdish people have felt safe and integrated over the last four decades, a country in which we have sought asylum from persecution in Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq. It is a tragedy that the UK authorities are now mirroring the intolerance towards Kurdish people that is shown in Turkey and are using increasingly repressive methods to curb any political organisation. Continue reading

  • For Immediate Release

    13 February 2018

    Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

    Contact Estella Schmid: 020 7586 5892 estella24@tiscali.co.uk

    Peace in Kurdistan Campaign has today sent a petition signed by leading academics, trade unionists and activists from across the world, to Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy for Syria, calling on him to ensure there is proper representation of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS) at the UN sponsored peace talks.

    To date the Kurdish-led DFNS has been excluded from the talks despite the fact they administer approximately one third of all territory in Syria under a democratic system. This exclusion delegitimises the talks and has emboldened Turkey to invade Afrin. It also makes a lasting political solution significantly less likely. The process of a Syria-wide peace resolution requires at the very minimum a Syria-wide representation of all the communities whose future depends on the outcome. Continue reading

  • THE ATTACKS ON AFRIN TARGET WOMEN’S LIBERATION AND DEMOCRATIC ALTERNATIVES

    Kongreya Star Committee for External Relations

    Information File

    Status Date: 08.02.2018
    Kongreya Star Committee for External Relations

    Navenda Dîplomasî ya Kongreya Star
    مركز العلاقات الدبلوماسیة لمؤتمر ستار
    pewendiyenjin.r@hotmail.com
    r.woman.d@gmail.com
    European Representation of Kongreya Star:
    rojavawomen@gomail.com

    INTRODUCTION

    On the night before January 20, 2018, the Turkish military and its jihadist allies jointly attacked the Afrin canton. The Turkish army calls this war of aggression “Operation Olive Branch” and claims to defend itself from attacks. International lawyers disagree and in fact, the opposite is the case. In 2017 alone [see attachment 2: chronology of Turkish attacks on Afrin 2017], the Turkish military attacked the area around the northwestern corner of Syria at least dozen times with artillery in order to provoke a war. In this sense, the beginning of the attacks on January 20 was not unexpected but rather planned long ahead of time. Continue reading

  • DO NOT LET AFRIN BECOME ANOTHER KOBANE

     

    We, the undersigned academics and human rights activists, insist that the leaders of Russia, Iran, and the U.S. ensure that the sovereignty of Syrian borders is not breached by Turkey and that the people of Afrin in Syria, be allowed to live in peace.

     Afrin, whose population is predominantly Kurdish, is one of the most stable and secure regions in Syria. With very little international aid, Afrin has taken in so many Syrian refugees in the last five years that its population has doubled to more than 400,000. Afrin is now surrounded by enemies: Turkish-supported jihadi groups, al Qaeda, and Turkey. Continue reading