The 4th annual meeting of the European Kurdish Democratic Societies Congress (KCDK-E), scheduled to be held this Sunday, 11 July, has been banned by Germany at the last minute.
KCDK-E co-chairs were only informed of the decision to ban by phone after the end of working hours on Friday 9 July .
The German police announced the ban through the Fox newspaper at the same time.
It was stated that the reason for the ban was the claim that 200 senior officials of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were planning to attend the congress.
However, KCDK-E, which was formally established in Belgium and is recognised under European law, has the legal right to hold congresses anywhere in Europe, and with the last-minute ban of the congress, Germany is attempting to criminalise hundreds of Kurdish institutions working legally in Europe.
The KCDK-E issued a statement criticising the ban:
“In banning the KCDK-E congress, is the German police taking instructions from the dictator Erdogan? We absolutely refuse to accept that our congress, which even received a message of congratulations from the mayor of Cologne, can be banned in this way. We do not accept the criminalisation of the KCDK-E. We are very familiar with similar attitudes to this from the genocidal attacks on the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) in Turkey.”
The statement continued:
“That 200 high-ranking PKK members were be present at the congress is a fabrication. In actual fact delegates from Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, France, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Italy, Cyprus and Greece were planning to attend to the meeting.”
Finally, KCDK-E stated that they will take the ban decision to court and that they will take all democratic steps to get the decision changed.
“We call on the German Government to change this attitude,” they said.