Ahmed Bahaa El-Din Shaaban, Secretary-General of the Egyptian Socialist Party, shared his concerns about the health of imprisoned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan.
The rumours that spread on social media last week in Turkey regarding Abdullah Öcalan’s “death” have concerned his family and lawyers as well as international human rights defenders.
Speaking as a member of the Arab Initiative for Öcalan’s Freedom, a group of Egyptian and Arab intellectuals who have come together to seek justice for Öcalan and generate solidarity with the Kurdish struggle worldwide, Shaaban said “Turkish fascism” applies a unique “oppression” to Öcalan, who has been seen by many communities as “a symbol for the humanitarian freedom struggle”.
‘All socialists will have a guilty conscience’
“All legitimate rights” of Abdullah Öcalan, as defined by the “international treaties”, have been “violated”, Shaaban said. “A response should be given regarding all negative news on leader Öcalan’s health and his meetings with his lawyers should be ensured”, he said.
In an appeal to the Turkish authorities, Shaaban said, “Protect Leader Abdullah Öcalan’s health in compliance with international standards and share any relevant information on his current state”.
Shaaban continued: “Remaining silent on the state of Abdullah Öcalan is unacceptable. Until leader Öcalan is free, all socialists will have a guilty conscience”.
‘Save Öcalan’ like Mandela
Shaaban also called on international human rights defenders to take action. “Put more pressure on the criminal Erdoğan to release leader Öcalan, who has been a prisoner for 22 years without any justification. The fascist Erdoğan regime should let Abdullah Öcalan meet with his lawyers”.
Shaaban recalled the case of Nelson Mandela and how international forces “exerted great pressure” to save the African leader from the “clutches of fascists”. “Now the world’s duty is to save Öcalan from the clutches of fascist executioners. This is the time.
“All international law and human rights organisations such as the CPT [Committee to Prevent Torture] should continue to give voice to these legitimate demands until they are accepted”, said Shaaban.