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Kurds across the world demand freedom for jailed PKK leader Ocalan

by Steve Sweeney in Slemani, Iraqi Kurdistan

KURDISH organisations united globally at the weekend to demand freedom for jailed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan.

People took to the streets, charging: “the time has come” as protests marked the 22nd anniversary of what supporters claim is an “international conspiracy” against the PKK leader.

Campaigners for Mr Ocalan say that imperialist powers and intelligence services including the CIA colluded in his abduction from Kenya and subsequent deportation to Turkey to stand trial on terrorism charges.

He was sentenced to death in June 1999, but that was later commuted to life imprisonment after Turkey abolished the death penalty as part of its bid to become a member of the European Union.

The Kurdish leader has subsequently been held in isolation on Imrali island with a number of human rights organisations describing the conditions he is held in as a form of torture.

The European Kurdish Democratic Society Congress demanded Mr Ocalan’s freedom, saying that his continued imprisonment “means a war against democratic rights and freedoms” of the Kurdish people’s right to exist.

Speaking to the Morning Star in the city of Slemani in Iraqi Kurdistan, Tevgera Azadiya [Kurdistan Society Freedom Movement] co-chair Tara Husain said: “By jailing Ocalan they [imperialist forces] tried to crush the Kurdish freedom movement. 

“But his philosophy and ideology will lead us to a free society threatening their interests which is why they keep attacking Kurds in Bashur and Rojava.

“Ocalan is the key to peace in the Middle East,” she insisted.

Ms Husain said that history would not forget the role of Britain, Nato and other imperialist forces in supplying the weapons and bombs used against the Kurdish people.

“Kurds are a peaceful people and never targeted anybody else’s land. Europe is a partner in crime of Turkey in what it has done to Kurdistan and humanity.”


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