Court of Last Resort in Brussels: Belgian Anti-Terror Law Not Applicable in PKK Proceedings PKK Is Party to a Conflict According to International Law

On March 8, proceedings ended before the Court of Last Resort in Brussels whose result is of great importance well beyond the borders of Belgium, particularly with regard to international law.

A look back: In 2010, a large squad of police was used to search legal Kurdish organizations and production sites of Kurdish television in Belgium and to arrest several representatives of the Kurdish National Congress (KNC). The investigations led to the levelling of charges by the prosecution against some 40 persons who were accused of collecting donations, propaganda, and recruitment for the PKK. In a second case, a Syrian Kurd was charged with having exported communication equipment to Erbil in Northern Iraq, equipment that the prosecution claimed was transferred further to the Kurdish HPG guerrilla. Continue reading

Solidarity Greetings on the PKK’s 40th Anniversary

PEACE IN KURDISTAN

Peace in Kurdistan declares its solidarity with the Kurdish people on the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Over the past four decades the party has totally transformed the political landscape of Kurdistan and the Middle East region. The Kurds are now a political force that cannot be ignored. This is true in Turkey, in Rojava and everywhere where the Kurds exist.

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The European Union Court of Justice rules that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was wrongly on the list of terrorist organisations. Interview with Civaka Azad.

Mahmut Şakar, Co-Chairman of MAF-DAD e.V., in an interview with Civaka Azad on the decision of the EU Court in Luxembourg

 

The European Union Court of Justice ruled on Thursday that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was wrongly on the list of terrorist organisations between 2014 and 2017. The court in Luxembourg declared the underlying decisions of the EU states null and void due to procedural errors. How do you assess this decision and the reasons for it?

I consider the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union announced on 15 November 2018 to be extremely important and historic. Continue reading

Revolutionary Youth Movement of Kurdistan – Internationalist Relations Committee on efforts to lift the ban on the PKK.

     Call: The wish for freedom cannot be banned
    Deutsche Übersetzung: “Der Wunsch nach Freiheit lässt sich nicht verbieten“
    After 25 years of failure – to snuff out the dream of democracy, freedom
    and peace – the German and Turkish governments are still among the
    leading countries fighting globally against democratic protests and
    emancipatory struggles. 25 years ago, the PKK was banned in Germany, yet
    throughout this time the PKK and its project of Democratic Confederalism
    have only grown in significance and appeal. It is no wonder that the Taz
    in September 2014 headlined ‘the PKK belongs to Germany’. On December
    1st we will take to the streets of the German capital to affirm the
    strength of this freedom struggle and the failure of the German-Turkish
    front against democracy – together, as democratic activists, feminists,
    anti-fascists and internationalists.

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A Conference marking 25 years of PKK ban, 20 October, Berlin.

It is time for analyses and discussions to fight for an end to the ban.

This November marks the 25th anniversary of the ban of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)  initiated in 1993 by Chancellor Dr. Manfred Kanther. Since then thousands of criminal procedures have been taken against Kurdish activists and supportive left activists, who publicly displayed the allegedly forbidden PKK symbols. Due to the Vereinigungsdelikte (Association Offences) of the criminal law paragraph 129, 129a and 129b (membership in a criminal/terrorist organisation), we have seen hundreds of indictments, arrests and sentences of people who did nothing more than engage in a political struggle for the Kurdish Freedom Movement. 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

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

PiK Trade Union Officer makes call to UK unions after Ankara bombing

Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Email: estella24@tiscali.co.uk
http://www.peaceinkurdistancampaign.com
Contacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 & Melanie  Sirinathsingh – Tel: 020 7272 7890

Stephen Smellie – Trade Union Liaison Officer Peace in Kurdistan
(Deputy Convenor UNISON Scotland)

Colleagues

The trade union confederations in Turkey, KESK and DISK, along with the Engineers and Architects Association and the Medical Association organised the demonstration and rally in Ankara on Saturday which was attacked by 2 bomb blasts which have resulted in the death of over 100 people with many hundreds more being injured. The demonstration was called under the slogan of ‘Labour for Peace.’ Continue reading

Shilan Ozcelik trial begins at the Old Bailey*) in first PKK trial in over a decade

PRESS RELEASE

7 September 2015

 

The trial against Kurdish woman Shilan Ozcelik, who was arrested in January for allegedly attempting to join the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), will appear in court on Monday 7 September, 2pm, for the first day of her trial.

The 18 year old was charged with ‘engaging in conduct in preparation to for giving an effect to an intention to commit acts of terrorism’ under section 5 (10) (a) of the Terrorism Act 2006 and has been held on remand in Holloway prison since early March.

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Stop ISIS/Daesh – new petition

Vasiliki Scurfield, mother of Erik Konstandinos Scurfield who was martyred in battle while fighting alongside the YPG in Kobane, has launched a signature campaign and is pushing for 100,000 signatures so that a debate takes place in Parliament. You will find the petition at Change.org – please sign and share!

STOP ISIS/DAESH

They all have names. Every one of the people who ISIS has murdered has a name and every day more people die trying to protect their right to a life free from persecution and terror.

All decent human beings are disgusted and horrified by the atrocities perpetrated by ISIS, yet ISIS continues is evil work unhindered, growing in strength and even affiliating with other extremist organisations. In the meantime there are some half- hearted coalition air strikes which, at best, succeed only in temporarily containing ISIS. Yet all across Northern Syria Rojavan Kurds continue to fight, essentially unassisted, to protect people of all religions and ethnic backgrounds and support refugees. Continue reading