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

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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

STUC conference passes motion supporting Rojava

The motion below was recently passed at the STUC conference in Ayr. Kurdish activists and Peace in Kurdistan Campaign’s Trade Union Liaison Officer Stephen Smellie (UNISON) were at the event for three days, where they met with union activists including Dave Parentis, general secretary of UNISON.

Kurdish activists with Stephen Smellie and UNISON general secretary Dave Parentis

Kurdish activists with Stephen Smellie and UNISON general secretary Dave Parentis

STUC April 2015

104. SUPPORT ROJAVA, DEFEND KOBANE, DEFEAT ISIS

“That this Congress expresses its concern at the events in Syria, resulting in thousands of deaths resulting in thousands of deaths and that conflict and the rise of ISIS has created a humanitarian crisis in the region and that millions of refugees have been displaced and some are now surviving with the assistance of local authorities, trade unions and volunteers, often without international aid.

Congress note:

  • the efforts in Rojava to establish an inclusive, non-sectarian and democratic self-rule, which has attracted considerable attention because of their experiment in democratic self-government, which is unique within the region;
  • the role that women are playing in the administration, and defence, of Rojava;
  • the role of the defence forces of Rojava, the YPG and the women’s YPJ, the Peshmerga of the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq and the PKK, in defending Kobane and the battle against ISIS in Iraq; and
  • That assemblies and popular militias have been formed, regime property turned over to worker co-operatives and all despite continual attacks by ISS forces.

Continue reading

North London Greens pledge support for Kurdish autonomy

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE NORTH LONDON GREEN PARTIES

Green Party General Election candidates from six North London constituencies have called for the British Government to lift the ban on the Kurdistan Workers Party (the PKK) and for the PKK to be removed from the list of banned ‘terrorist’ organisations. Speaking at a meeting of North London’s Kurdish community with London Green MEP Jean Lambert, candidates agreed that the PKK poses no threat to the people of Britain. The PKK has never been designated as a terrorist organisation by the United Nations and most European Union governments have not listed it as a terrorist group. The British government has taken a particularly harsh stance, which is closer to that of the US.

From left to right; Michelle, David, Jean, Charlotte, Gordon, Dee, Heather. Photo: Esra Turk

From left to right; Michelle, David, Jean, Charlotte, Gordon, Dee, Heather.
Photo: Esra Turk

‘Kurdish peoples across four Middle Eastern countries have been striving for self-determination and democracy for many years,’ said Dee Searle (candidate for Tottenham), who came into direct contact with Kurdish human rights activists during her years working for Amnesty International. ‘Their bravery and determination left a lasting impression.’ David Flint (candidate for Enfield North), who visited Kurdish areas in Turkey last year, spoke of his positive experiences of Kurdish society. Continue reading

CAMPACC reports on the first of their innovative workshops series on self-determination

CAMPACC has initiated a research and outreach project which aims to critically examine the contradictions between national struggles for self-determination and the global ‘counter -terror’ regime, which has begun with a series of workshops focusing on key case studies – the Kurdish question; the Tamil struggle and the Somali struggle. Below is the report from their first workshop, which includes videos of each of the presentations.

On the 21st February 2015 CAMPACC, in association with SOAS Kurdish Society, hosted the first workshop in a series on Self-determination against the global ‘counter-terror’ regime. This was on the Kurdish liberation struggle. Continue reading

International legal conference condemns PKK ban

Peace and stability in Turkey, Kurdistan, the Middle East and the wider world, by David Morgan

Peace and stability in Turkey, Kurdistan, the Middle East and the wider world: a personal perspective on the events of the year just gone and prospects for the future.

By David Morgan, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign, 1 January 2015

Peace and stability in Turkey, in Kurdistan, in the Middle East and in the wider world might seem extremely precarious and elusive prospects in the light of the descent into chaos in Syria and Iraq witnessed in 2014, but there is never an option to entirely give up hope if you believe in life and it is a natural instinct for all living creatures to desire to continue to live in a state of comfort where basic wants for food, sustenance and love are satisfied. Thousands of years of human progress, enlightenment, ingenuity, creativity and inventiveness cannot simply be wiped out by the wars, wanton destruction and genocide endured in the recent period. It may seem that the world has entered a new dark age but the darkest forces that have emerged on the scene are being strenuously resisted and thus confidently we can predict that they can be eliminated by the forces of light and hope who are ultimately far stronger than their assailants for the simple reason that they offer greater prospects of a better life for more people. It is surely the shared values of socialism, cooperation, respect, tolerance, solidarity, that will continue to inspire and drive humanity forward creating a better world for men and women in equal measure. Harmony can assuredly triumph over discord through our combined human efforts. The alternative is simply too bleak to even imagine.
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