American actor Mark Ruffalo joined musicians and intellectuals who have been calling for the release of imprisoned Kurdish musician Nudem Durak. On Thursday, he shared a video of Durak and said on Twitter:
“This beautiful, kindly, gifted human being is being kept in a Turkish prison. Her Crime? Song. She sings the folk songs of her Kurdish people. Please Help and RT. #FreeNudemDurak”
The Emmy Award winner and triple Academy Awards nominee has been attacked by users from Turkey, likely including Turkish government-backed troll accounts, who swarmed into Twitter to protest and condemn his call.
Angela Davis, Ken Loach, David Graeber and Peter Gabriel were among those who expressed their support for Durak earlier.
About Nudem Durak
Durak was first detained in 2009 for performing songs of a political nature, over accusations of ‘membership of a terrorist group’ and ‘propaganda for a terrorist group’. After spending several months in pre-trial detention, she was released pending the court ruling. In April 2012 she was retaken into custody for a period and again in 2015 arrested and incarcerated. She was sentenced to 19 years in prison upon a final decision by the Turkish Constitutional Court.
She started singing around the age of 12 and bought her first guitar by selling her mother’s wedding ring. She worked as a music teacher in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority city of Cizre (Cizîr) at the Mem u Zin Cultural Centre.