The Freedom for Öcalan Initiative is organising a central rally in Strasbourg, France, on 2 October demanding freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) imprisoned in Turkey.
In a written statement, they said, “The isolation policy applied to Öcalan, the leader of the Kurdish people, exceeds torture; it has reached dangerous proportions,” and stressed that they would not remain silent and indifferent to the situation.
The Initiative emphasised that the European Council was neglecting its duty for political reasons: “The European Council, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe have stated in reports that the conditions in İmralı are unacceptable and must be improved. Despite this the isolation system at İmralı has not changed at all.”
The initiative pointed out that no word has been heard from Öcalan since 25 March 2021 when he had a 4-5 minute telephone conversation with his brother.
Calling everyone to join the mass rally at the weekend, the statement said, “We expect hundreds of friends and people of Kurdistan to join the rally outside the European Council in Strasbourg, with the slogans, ‘It’s time for freedom’, ‘Freedom will Win Out’, ‘Into Action for Öcalan’,” and we will shout out for freedom for our leader Apo (an affectionate nickname the Kurds call Öcalan).
People and institutions from many countries running campaigns and activities are expected to send messages to the rally for Freedom for Öcalan, which is will be held at 13.00 on 2 October outside the European Council.
Director of International and Research of the UK’s UNITE union and a founder of the Freedom for Öcalan Campaign Simon Dubbins, Italian Freedom for Öcalan Committee member Prof Laura Carradi, Movement Against Racism and for Friendship between Peoples (MRAP) Co-Chair Rénee Le Mignot, International Alliance for Defence of Rights and Freedoms (AIDL) Director Dr Mohamed Al Shami and a representative from the French Solidarity Union will be among the speakers at the rally.