‘Terrorism’, self-determination and the PKK ban on programme at Bonn Conference

Next weekend an international conference will tackle anti-terrorism legislation, international law and the impact of this framing on the Kurdish struggle. Taking place in Bonn, Germany, the conference will bring together lawyers, barristers and academics around a series of discussion that will include such topics as the right to self-determination; concepts of ‘terrorism’; legal challenges to the PKK ban and the impact of the ban on the Kurdish people; as well as quests for a legal and political solution.

The conference has been organised by MAF-DAD and Azadi Freiheit, which are both on the forefront of leading appeals agains the prohibition of the PKK, in association with European Association of Democratic Lawyers (ELDH), Internationale Liga fur Menschrechte and VDJ.

You can download a full programme here. We will bring you papers and the final resolution of the conference once we receive hem.

Free Media Union reports on chemical weapons attacks in Rojava

The Free Media Union, an independent body of Rojava-based journalists and activists, has released new report documenting the extreme violence and torture against Kurdish civilians in Kobane and surrounding areas. The reports also look into allegations of the use of chemical weapons against Kurdish fighters by ISIS. The report includes graphic and disturbing images.

Free Media Union: ISIS violations and chemical weapons on civilians in Kobani canton (pdf)

CHD press release on mass arrests of lawyers

Yesterday, the Istanbul court decided that 9 lawyers, among them CHD President Selcuk Kozagacli and Chair of Istanbul Branch Taylan Tanay should be taken to prison.

They were initially arrested last week in police raids targeting the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C). You can read our statement on these arrests, as well as a press release below by the Progressive Lawyers Association (CHD).

The lawyers giving a final speech to the crowd before being taken into prison

The lawyers giving a final speech to the crowd before being taken into prison

PRESS RELEASE OF PROGRESSIVE LAWYERS ASSOCIATION (ÇHD)

Arrest warrants were issued on January, 18 2013 against 16 lawyers on the claimed suspicion of them being members of an illegal organization and despite the lack of a suspicion that they would escape.

Today we are expecting that our colleagues who have been under police custody for the last 3 days be brought to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Under Turkish law and according to the Legal Practitioners Act and the Criminal Procedure Act;

Our colleagues had to be directly brought to the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Court House to give their defense statements without being taken under police custody.

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Report from the lastest KCK trial of Kurdish lawyers

As part of Peace in Kurdistan’s continuing monitoring of the ongoing KCK Trials in Turkey, solicitor Tony Fisher and barrister Melanie Gingell have returned from Istanbul where they observed the latest hearing of a mass trial of 46 Kurdish lawyers. Tony Fisher, a member of the Law Society’s Human Rights Committee, has written the following report about the hearing on 3 January, which includes a summary of the proceedings and a commentary on the highly politicised nature of the trial. The report is also available for download.

KCK TRIAL OF KURDISH LAWYERS – ISTANBUL 3rd January 2013

Background

This is a further report on the trial of 46 Kurdish lawyers and other professionals on alleged terrorist offences arising out of their position as representatives of the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. The trial was adjourned from November 2012 to 3rd January 2013 and resumed on the morning of 3rd January at Silivri court. This report should be read in conjunction with my earlier report dated 8th November 2012.
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