The Kurdish Human Rights Action Group (KHRAG) Chair Mahmoud Patel talked to Hawar News Agency on their recent campaign “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan for a just peace in Turkey”.
The Kurdish Human Rights Action Group (KHRAG), established in Cape Town, South Africa and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) launched a “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan for a just peace in Turkey” campaign that seeks to encourage the United Nations (UN) to make a move to ensure the freedom of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan in order to promote peace in Turkey.
“We launched a campaign to bring Leader Öcalan’s situation on the United Nations (UN) agenda.
The UN should put pressure on the Turkish state regarding the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan,” said Patel.
“The struggle of Kurdish people is very similar to the struggle of the African people”
He also noted that they will continue to carry out freedom campaigns of the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan in South Africa. “It is a moral responsibility of all of us to fight for the freedom of Leader Öcalan. The struggle of the Kurdish people to determine their own destiny is very similar with the struggle of the African people to determine their own destiny by ending slavery,” he said.
“The condition of Öcalan is worse than Mandela’s”
He made reference to Nelson Mandela’s struggle for peace. “Nelson Mandela was imprisoned in Robben Island Prison and Abdullah Öcalan is imprisoned İmralı Island Prison. Both fought for fundamental rights, freedom and democracy. The conditions of Öcalan, who has been in prison more than 20 years, is worse than Mandela’s,” said KHRAG’s Patel.
He criticised the systematic isolation imposed by the Turkish state on Imrali Prison Island. “The isolation shows that Turkey does not respect international law. Despite being a member of the UN, it does not fulfill the requirements of UN conventions. Despite the decisions taken by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), isolation continues.. The member states of the UN should apply much more pressure on the Turkish state in this regard, ” he said.
“International struggle is of extreme importance”
“International support for the struggle against the isolation is of extreme importance,” Patel said. “In South Africa, a great deal of international public opinion was created for Mandela’s freedom. As a result of this public pressure, Mandela was released. In addition to this, hunger strikes, boycotts and various other actions were carried out. We must increase such a struggle for the freedom of the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan,”