Open Letter to Dominic Raab: Release Political Prisoners in Turkey.

Rt. Hon. Dominic Raab MP

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH

Dear Foreign Secretary

Ref. Release political prisoners in Turkey

We are deeply concerned about the situation for political prisoners in Turkey. It is of great importance that we don’t allow the accelerating spread of corona virus across the world to provide cover for further violations against those who are in prison, particularly those who are there simply for the expression of peaceful opinions.

We are aware of reports that the Turkish government is engaged in the preparation of a law that will result in the release up to 100,000 prisoners. While this appears to be a progressive step there remains a real danger that political prisoners will not be included in the proposed amnesty. This would be an appalling state of affairs. The spread of corona virus in prisons will result in a deadly outcome for many, especially for older prisoners and those with underlying health conditions. The risks for these prisoners, who have committed no internationally recognised crimes, will be exacerbated by the overcrowding and insanitary conditions in which they are held.  We are concerned that the continuing incarceration in these conditions amounts to a potential death sentence. Continue reading “Open Letter to Dominic Raab: Release Political Prisoners in Turkey.”



  1. Democratic Confederalism discussed in Rome
  2. Urgent call for Hasankeyf and the Tigris Valley
  3. Xerîb Hiso: Erdoğan has taken the decision to go to war
  4. Dutch MPs warn against possible Turkish attack against Syrian Kurds
  5. Congress rapporteurs meet with suspended HDP mayors in Amed
  6. Abdi: Erdoğan’s concern is not about security but about invasion
  7. HDP: Permanent mobilization against trustees until 19 October
  8. ‘We deserve support’: Reinvented north-east Syria strives for stability
  9. Erdogan’s demographic engineering plans in Syria mirror those of Assad time – FT
  10. Syria’s Kurds protest exclusion from constitutional committee
  11. Turkey must resist emotional politics to find peace and democracy – Gultan Kisanak
  12. Daesh makes resurgence in Syria, captures town, attacks Kurdish and Russian forces
  13. UN Excludes one third of Syria, mostly Kurds, from Constitution Committee
  14. Memorial in London for Mehmet Aksoy
  15. KNK: Autonomous Administration should join constitutional team
  16. Maxmur Refugee Camp under embargo for two months
  17. Increase in Turkish-linked jihadist cells in Syria, study finds
  18. Pro-Kurdish leader Demirtas could be released soon, lawyer says
  19. Devastating all dissent in Turkey
  20. PEN America condemns u.s. decision to bar entry to austrian academic
  21. Gen. John Allen hails Kurdish role in fighting ISIS
  22. (VIDEO) Justice system and human rights status in Turkey discussed at UN
  23. Berlin Conference for a new Turkey ends today
  24. Delegation from NE Syria visits the US
  25. Former British fighter who fought alongside Kurds commits suicide

Continue reading “KURDISH NEWS BRIEFING, 6 SEPTEMBER 2019 – 7 OCTOBER 2019”

(VIDEO) Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival 2019 – Interview with Simon Dubbins

The Freedom for Öcalan trade union campaign interviewed Simon Dubbins, co-chair of the campaign and International Director at Unite the Union at the 2019 Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival. We asked Simon about his thoughts on the progress and future of the campaign, the international situation and the engagement of UK politicians in the Kurdish struggle.

The Freedom for Öcalan campaign is a UK trade union-backed initiative to secure the release of imprisoned Kurdish political prisoner Abdullah Öcalan.

In 2017 the annual meeting of the TUC voted unanimously for a motion calling for Mr Öcalan’s immediate release and a return to peace talks between Turkey and representatives of the Kurdish people.


STUC Declares Solidarity with Kurdish Hunger Strikers and Condemns Criminalisation of Kurds in Scotland

Connor Hayes | 17 April 2019

On Tuesday, 16 April 2019, the 122nd annual Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC), which ran from 15-17 April and represents 37 trade unions and more than 540,000 people across Scotland, adopted a motion declaring their solidarity with the people around the world who have declared indefinite hunger strike to the protest the unlawful conditions of isolation imposed on imprisoned Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Ocalan. The emergency motion was proposed by Kathleen Kennedy of the Aberdeen Trade Union Council and Stephen Smellie, Depute Convenor of Unison union and co-convenor of Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan, and was adopted in a unanimous vote by the congress. Continue reading “STUC Declares Solidarity with Kurdish Hunger Strikers and Condemns Criminalisation of Kurds in Scotland”


Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH

Dear Foreign Secretary,

We write to express our deep concern over the UK government’s position in its relations with Turkey as the human rights situation inside the country continues to deteriorate rapidly. In particular, we seek to urgently draw your attention to the 7,000 Kurdish political prisoners on hunger strike in Turkish prisons and the solidarity hunger strikes now spreading across Europe, including in the UK.  Seven Kurdish political prisoners in Turkey have taken their own lives in the last three weeks.

The hunger strikers are demanding urgent action to end the persecution of the Kurdish people in Turkey as embodied in the person of Abdullah Ocalan who has been kept in a state of aggravated solitary confinement for approaching 20 years: an inhuman punishment in breach of both domestic laws and international conventions to which Turkey is a signatory. Continue reading “OPEN LETTER TO THE UK FOREIGN SECRETARY JEREMY HUNT”

Margaret Owen joins Hunger Strike



Margaret Owen OBE joins Hunger Strike. Maxine Peake to address the public meeting at 7pm.

On Tuesday 2nd April Margaret Owen OBE, lawyer, Patron of Peace in Kurdistan, and Director of Widows Through Peace and Democracy will commence a hunger strike in solidarity with Kurdish hunger strikers across Europe, calling for an end to the unlawful prison conditions of Abdullah Ocalan the jailed Kurdish leader.  Owen has been a passionate advocate for Kurdish rights for many years, and now at the age of 86 has decided to take this very significant step. Continue reading “Margaret Owen joins Hunger Strike”

Letter to Secretary of Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture from the Imrali Delegation.

CPT – Council of Europe Executive Secretary of CPT, Mr. Regis BRILLAT
F – 67075 Strasbourg Cedex,
CC Head of Division for Turkey of CPT
Copy of the letter to Mr. Thorbj.rn Jagland
Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Dear Mr. Regis Brillat,

We are writing to you as members of the 2019 International Peace Delegation to İmralı regarding the unlawful imprisonment conditions of Abdullah OÅNcalan, the leader of the Kurdish people, and the mass hunger strikes that have been undertaken throughout Turkey and across the world to protest these conditions, which are now at a critical point. We write to you to request a meeting with you at the earliest possible time in order to raise our concerns about this situation, and to discuss the findings of the delegation, which are detailed in the report that you will find attached. Continue reading “Letter to Secretary of Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture from the Imrali Delegation.”