• On Human Rights Day

    Kongreya Neteweyî ya Kurdistanê    Kurdistan National Congress
    Congrès National du Kurdistan

    10th December is Human Rights Day which is celebrated internationally. Today we are celebrating its seventieth anniversary. It was sixty-nine years ago, on 10 December 1948, when the world was just emerging from the aftermath of the Second World War whose horrors claimed so many victims and whose impact affected all peoples.
    The people of Kurdistan did not go unaffected by the Second World War, in fact since the First World War Kurdistan had fallen victim to unfolding divisions between four states. In a similar way, after the Second World War, the fulfilment of the Kurds’ rights was not granted legitimacy and so their rights were denied to them. As an example, the destruction of the Kurdistan Republic of Mehabad occurred in the preceding year to the adopting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    That Declaration was overwhelmingly ratified by the United Nations. Later with the expansion of the United Nations the new countries which joined approved its articles. Among these countries are the four occupying states of Kurdistan, which have committed themselves to its principles. Continue reading

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  • WOMEN’S ALLIANCE FOR KURDISTAN, IRAQ AND SYRIA: NEWS BRIEFING DECEMBER 2017

    https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/activities/womens-alliance-for-kurdistan-iraq-and-syria/
    1. The voice of Ocalan resonates in Latin America
    2. International observers arbitrarily denied access to hearings
    3. The Trial of Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtas
    4. The case of Kisanak and Tuncel: Resistance and the theatrics of repression
    5. Forty women killed in October 2017 in Turkey
    6. Turkey ranks 105th out of 153 countries safe for women
    7. Ummiye Kocak: A success story from the Turkish countryside to New York
    8. Syria’s Arab, Kurdish women join forces to fight for future
    9.  “The Rojava Revolution is a women’s revolution”
    10.  YPJ calls on all women to turn every day into a day of struggle
    11. Letter from Co-Chair of Turkey’s HDP on the Violent Treatment of Women
    12. Why Kurdish Women Joined The Fight Against ISIS
    13.  Democratic Federation of Northern Syria: ‘Women are the foundation of a free Society.
    14. Why the Kurdish Fight for Women’s Rights Is Revolutionary
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    Continue reading

  • The Trial of Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtas

    By 

    IMG_1939

    Blog post from International Trial Observer and Barrister Margaret Owen (pictured)

    Wednesday, December 6

    Ms Figen Yüksekdağ is charged, under the Anti Terror Law, with inciting violence, making propaganda for a terrorist organisation ( PKK)  and establishing and managing a terrorist organisation. These accusations were made on the basis of speeches she had made, as an elected MP, both inside and outside parliament between 2011 and 2015. Figen, as an elected member of parliament, and co chair of a legal political party, was simply doing her job. It was absurd to allege that her speeches were promoting terrorism. There is no evidence that she organised or is a member of a terror group.

    Continue reading

  • Joint Statement on behalf of the International Observers Delegation to the trial of Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag

    6th – 7th December 2017

     We the undersigned make this declaration to serve as a joint statement on behalf of all members of the international observes delegation that have arrived here in Ankara to observe and objectively report on the trial of the two HDP (Peoples Democratic Party’s) Co-Chair’s Sellahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag.

     Mrs. Yuksekdag and Mr. Demirtas were arrested and detained in prison since last November, 2016. Numerous charges have been brought against them relating to alleged “terrorism” activities. The particulars and evidence of the charges they face however emanate from their parliamentary activities and the responsibility they must uphold on behalf of the millions of voters that have elected them as their parliamentary representatives. These include; their speeches in Parliament, speeches at political rally’s, party meetings, press statements and general and legitimate opposition party activities. Continue reading

  • PRESS RELEASE

     

    Organisers

    Freedom for Ocalan Campaign Trade Unioun Group (UK) – Kurdish People’s Assembly UK – International Initiative “Freedom for Ocalan – Peace in Kurdistan” – Peace in Kurdistan Campaign – Democratic Unity of Community Centres in UK – Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign – Kurdistan Students Union

     

    PRESS RELEASE

    1st December 2017

     Demonstration for freedom of Abdullah Öcalan and all political prisoners in Turkey on International Human Rights Day, 10th Dec 2017

    On 10 December, International Human Rights Day, we will call for the release of Abdullah Öcalan, Kurdish freedom fighter, intellectual leader and political prisoner for 19 years.

    Like Nelson Mandela before him, Abdullah Öcalan has been a charismatic and intellectual inspiration for his people. In the 1980s he led the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in armed combat against the Turkish State, a state whose violence against the Kurdish people had led to Turkey earning a reputation as Europe’s worst human rights violator. The number of pro-Kurdish political prisoners in Turkey has reached more than ten thousand. In recent years Öcalan has repeatedly called for a political solution to the Kurdish Question, has called on Turkey to lay down its arms and meet Kurdish representatives around a table of peace.

    The academic writings of Öcalan have been the inspiration of a new movement in the Middle East: Democratic Confederalism. The idea that administration in the region should be ethnically inclusive, anti-sectarian and fundamentally rooted in gender equality is one that is being put into practice across Northern Syria by the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS). For a region that is better known for sectarianism and gender discrimination these ideas are revolutionary and exciting. Each political position in the DFNS, started by the

    Kurds in Syria, is held jointly by a woman and a man, while civil society is being organised on a cooperative basis with great focus on ecological sustainability.

    In the international effort to defeat so-called Islamic State (ISIS/Daesh), the military units of the DFNS have been at the frontline of the battle, providing the “boots on the ground” for the International Coalition. The DFNS have lost 6000 lives in this war. Thus far the repayment for this brave fight and heroic sacrifice has been to be excluded from the peace negotiations contrary to UN Security Council Resolution 2254 (2015) which resolves that “the only sustainable solution to the current crisis in Syria is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.” If this exclusion continues it will represent one of the most obscene political betrayals of the conflict.

    Abdullah Öcalan is approaching his twentieth year in near complete isolation; he has been denied the right to see his lawyers since July 2011. Although he was allowed a number of visits by the Pro-Kurdish (HDP) MPs during the peace negotiations, some of whom are also now imprisoned, since April 2015 the visits have been blocked and the peace process has been abandoned by the Turkish government. The Kurds are deeply concerned for the wellbeing of their leader. It is time for the international community to call for his immediate release. The power, the intellect and the compassion of Abdullah Öcalan stand in stark relief to the repression, the arrogance and the almost complete abrogation of human rights of those such as President Erdogan of Turkey, who stand against him.

    The March on 10 December will start at 12 noon at the BBC and proceed to Parliament Square, where a rally will be held with speakers from different organisations, including: Christine Blower, NUT International Secretary; Simon Dubbins International Director UNITE; Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign & Imrali Peace Delegation; Lindsey German, Convenor Stop the War Coalition; Bruce Kent, CND; Margaret Owen, Peace in Kurdistan – Women Alliance for Kurdistan, Syria and Iraq; Faiz Baloch, Free Balochistan Movement; London Basque Solidarity.

    For further information please contact:

     

    Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign:

    Email: mark@kurdistansolidaritycampaign.org

    Tel: +44 (0) 7799285812/ 07799285812

     

    Peace in Kurdistan Campaign:

    Email: knklondon@gn.apc.org

    Tel: +44 (0) 7846666804

     

     

     

     

  • KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 25 NOVEMBER – 1 DECEMBER 2017

    NEWS
    1. Longest curfew in the world turns 2
    2. Constitutional Court to assess Demirtaş’s appeal on December 6
    3. Turkish police detain 75 in Cukurova region
    4. Elections in Northern Syria in 5 questions
    5. Balance sheet of attacks by the Turkish army against Rojava
    6. Kurdish Party Favors Syrian Kurds’ Inclusion in Peace Talks
    7. PKK celebrates its 40th anniversary in Medya Defense Zones
    8. Left Party’s Schimke: Isolation on Öcalan is unacceptable
    9. TEV-DEM: Our people will resist attacks and protect their gains
    10. “The Rojava Revolution is a women’s revolution”
    11. YPJ calls on all women to turn every day into a day of struggle
    12. Trump tells Turkey’s leader: US to stop arming Syrian Kurds
    13. Syrian Kurds ‘Determined to Retaliate Against Turkish Invasion of Afrin’
    14. Efrîn Foreign Affairs Council’s statement on Turkish attacks

    Continue reading

  • Open Letter to David Miliband: Help us get Humanitarian aid to Rojava!


    David Miliband
    President of International Rescue Committee
    122 East 42nd Street
    New York, New York 10168-1289
    USA

    29 November 2017

    Dear David Miliband

    We are writing to urge you as head of the IRC to use your influence to persuade the UNHCR, the Red Cross, and other internationally recognised humanitarian organisations including your own, to deliver aid and humanitarian assistance to Rojava in Northern Syria.

    Rojava as you know is an area of relative peace and stability in the North of Syria. It is an autonomous self- governing region under the rule of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. Its political model is based on direct democracy with gender equality at its heart. All political positions in the administration are held jointly by a man and a woman. It is also inclusive in terms of ethnicity and religion with Kurds, Arabs and all other groups being represented in the administration and the military protection units. These democratic, inclusive principles make this area unique in a region that is better known for gender inequality and sectarianism. Continue reading

  • KURDISH NEWS WEEKLY BRIEFING, 13 – 20 NOVEMBER 2017

    NEWS
    1. Gerry Adams: Ocalan should not be imprisoned
    2. GUE/NGL Chair: An official delegation should visit Ocalan
    3. BBC’s credibility at stake
    4. “AKP wanted to use the KDP against Rojava and the PKK”
    5.  One week of balance sheet in the Operation Cizire Storm
    6.  Press conference on PKK ban in German Parliament
    7. 704th appeal to visit Ocalan rejected
    8. GUE/NGL Group Chair: Öcalan must be contacted
    9. Indefinite sit-in by the CPT continues with resolve
    10.  SDF: Turkish intelligence involved in the disappearance of Silo
    11. Parliament: Kurds to withdraw from Iraqi political process uf calla for dialogue are ignored
    12. The Kurdish Explosion Is Unleashing Demons
    Continue reading

  • On International Human Rights Day join us in the march for the FREEDOM of ÖCALAN!

    A revolutionary leader

    IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT for 19 YEARS

    “Peace is more difficult than War. We were not scared when we resisted, we will not be scared when we make peace.”

    – Abdullah Öcalan
    Abdullah_Öcalan

    DEMONSTRATION – Sunday 10th DEC 2017

    Start @ 12:00 at BBC, Portland Pl., W1A 1AA

    March to Westminister Sq for the Rally @14:00 Continue reading

  • Public Forum: The PKK is not a terrorist organisation. Analysis of the Belgian Court Decision.

    Belgium Court of Appeal sets an important precedent
    The PKK is ‘party to an armed conflict’ and so is not a ‘terrorist organisation’

    De-list the PKK

     Organised by CAMPACC, Peace in Kurdistan and The Centre for Kurdish Progress
    Monday 20 November, 7 – 9pm, Committee Room 4, Houses of Lords, Westminster

    This event will be kindly hosted by Lord Glasman and chaired by Melanie Gingell barrister and associate tenant at Doughty Street Chambers

    Speakers include Jan Fermon, Belgium lawyer and Acting Secretary General of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers; Alastair Lyon, BirnbergPeirce Solicitors and Les Levidow, Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC).

    For more than two decades, Western governments have been persecuting Kurdish communities, attempting to silence their support for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).  Key instruments in this persecution have been anti-terror powers which authorise various executive punishments without trial, as well as prosecution for vague crimes of association.  This legislative ban on the PKK operates at both national and international levels, e.g. the EU and UN. Continue reading