As we approach International Human Rights Day (10 December), the European Kurdish Democratic Societies Congress, expressing support for it, issued a statement calling on people around the world to organise events and demonstrations on 11 December to raise the demand for freedom for Abdullah Öcalan.
Recalling the appeal of the the International Initiative ‘Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan – Peace in Kurdistan’ to organise solidarity actions on the occasion of each 10 December, as part of a world-wide campaign called ‘World Day of Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan,’ the Congress invited human rights defenders around the world to organise solidarity actions and events in their countries on 11 December to raise calls and appeals for Abdullah Öcalan to be released.
“The demonstrations on 11 December will bring increased speed to all messages of solidarity coming from all around the world and contribute much to the efforts to free leader Apo [Abdullah Öcalan],” the KCDK-E stated.
The Congress noted that European governments have been paving the way for the Turkish government to increase the repression of Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader who has been held in strict isolation in a high security prison on the island of Imralı, Turkey.
The KCDK-E urged the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) – among other relevant human rights institutions in Europe – not to maintain its silence regarding the “system of torture” in Imralı Prison, specially built for Abdullah Öcalan, it pointed out.
“As significant as the decision which the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE) has given for leader Apo,” the Congress said, referring to the CoE’s 2 December decision on the Gurban Group case that includes the case of Abdullah Öcalan, “the fact that the Council has given Turkey a deadline of September 2022 and that they have prolonged this process this much is not acceptable.”
Stating that Abdullah Öcalan’s ideas address not only the Kurdish people who have been “united around his leadership,” the KCDK-E stated that, “with this isolation, which has been internationally agreed upon, the desired end is to block his ideas from spreading and being embraced by the peoples of the world.”
The KCDK-E encouraged all human rights defenders to participate in various ‘Freedom for Öcalan’ events all around the world on 11 December.
“Starting with the people of Kurdistan, we urge all intellectuals, artists, activists, ecologists, women’s rights and human rights defenders and all those around the world who defend freedom and equality to take part in various creative events to be held on 11 December,” the KCDK-E stated.