To mark the 10th anniversary of a non-stop vigil being held for the freedom of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan outside the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, supporters from different countries rallied to join the vigil. They included: Thomas Pringle, MP (Irish Independent politician), George Katrougalas, MP (Greek politician), Roberto Rampi, MP (Italian politician), Gianni Marilotti, MP (Italian politician), Anna Kolotava, (Belgium politician and Secretary General of the Unified European Left Group), Bjarni Jonsson, MP (Iceland politician), Kostis Efstathiou, MP (Cyprus politician), Yiorgos Loukaides, MP (Cyprus politician), Laura Castel i Fort (Catalunia politician), Jeremy Corbyn, MP (British politician), Paul Gavan, MP (Irish MP), and Antón Gómez-Reino (Spanish politician).
All gave speeches expressing solidarity with the campaign to free the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan.
The vigil in front of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg has been held there every single day, non-stop for ten years, calling for the freedom of the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan. Speeches were made by all the politicians who attended the event, and messages of solidarity were sent to the vigil by many more.
Kurdish politician Adam Uzun said on the vigil that the European institutions shall fulfill their duties, if they protect democratic values.
Abdullah Öcalan has been imprisoned in Turkey for over 23 years, held under conditions of near total isolation on the island of Imrali.
For most of the 23 years – in contravention of international law on Human Rights – Öcalan has been denied regular access to both his family and his lawyers. He has had no contact with the outside world since March 2021. Öcalan is denied all possibility of parole, which is also recognised as a form of torture by the European Court of Human Rights.
Despite this, through his writings and his repeated initiatives for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question, Öcalan has succeeded in inspiring growing numbers of people in the Kurdish community and beyond, who look to his leadership. He is widely understood to hold the key to a peaceful and democratic future for Turkey and the whole region. The release of Abdullah Öcalan is compared in significance to the release of Nelson Mandela.
The non stop vigil for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan continues.