Mr Adem Uzun who is a diplomat committee member of the KNK (Kurdistan National Congress), was arrested when travelling to Paris on October 6th of this year. He is accused of being’ a member and an executive of a foreign terrorist organisation’. This accusation could be very interesting and worrying for those who are not familiar with the Kurdish issue. On the other hand, for those who are familiar with the Kurdish issue and the Kurds themselves, this is indeed not a strange or a new phenomenon. If you are a Kurd and /or struggling for the freedom of Kurds, a similar thing is expected to happen to you at some stage of your life. Currently, there are some 15,000 people and politicians (including democratically elected MPs, mayors, member of local parliaments etc.) in Turkish, Iranian and Syrian prisons.
Furthermore, there are some political Kurdish prisoners in European countries jails.
Mr Adem Uzun is 42 years old and is a university graduate. He lived in Germany where he completed all his education up until he graduated from university. Since the early days of his life as a student, he has contributed greatly in the struggle for freedom of the Kurdish people. He always lived and worked in Europe. Since the KNK was established, Mr Uzun has always worked in external relations to introduce the Kurdish issue to the world and has represented the KNK at certain levels in diplomatic meetings. All his efforts have been in the legal arena. Despite all his peaceful work, the Turkish State has accused him of being a member of a terrorist organisation and sought an Interpol notice to arrest him.
No matter what the accusations are, Mr Uzun’s arrest by France is in line with Turkey’s ongoing
policies. The actual fact is that Mr Uzun is working in cooperation with the Kurdish Freedom
Movement. Therefore, the reason that he has been arrested is a political one. This proves that France is serving Turkey’s interests and as a result it created a scenario in order to arrest Mr Uzun. A week before Mr Uzun’s arrest, the Turkish Prime Minister had announced that France and Germany are not supporting Turkey sufficiently. Right after that announcement, Mr Uzun was arrested by the French authorities. Furthermore, the French public prosecutor Thierry Fragnoli who authorised Mr Uzun’s arrest had replied to the Turkish Prime Minister via press as if he was a political figure, stressing that, ‘France, with its professional team, has operated against the PKK since 2006 and therefore the Turkish Prime Minister’s criticisms are not fair’. After Mr Uzun’s arrest, Turkey had put in a formal request to France to surrender Mr Uzun to them. The above facts are proof that Mr Uzun’s arrest was the result of a ‘political process’ rather than a simple matter of justice.
Mr Adem Uzun is a Kurdish diplomat and politician. All the claims made about him are incorrect, unfair and injustice. Therefore, he should be set free immediately. We request you to be sensitive about his arrest and support us for Mr Uzun’s immediate release.
We believe that you will make an effort in cooperation with us. We would like to take the opportunity to thank you in advance for your effort and your sensitivity.
KNK Executive Council
Statement from Selma Benkhelifa, the Belgium lawyer of Adem Uzun
Adem Uzun was arrested in France on 6 October 2012. On October 8, the media -informed by judiciary sources and police – accused him of being a leader of the PKK and of trying to buy weapons in France.
Two comments must be made: firstly, the secret of the investigations has clearly been violated and secondly, the presumption of innocence of Mr Uzun is also violated.
It is difficult for a lawyer to respond to these accusations, because of professional secrecy.
However, some things must be said.
First, Adem Uzun denies being a PKK member. The file contains no evidence to prove otherwise. A
conflationis made between the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) to which he belongs and the PKK.
Thisconflationis not based on any evidence.
Second, there are no charges of weapons trafficking against Mr Uzun. He is charged with belonging to a criminal association with terrorist aims, namely the PKK.
Finally it seems that Mr Uzun had been trapped and he did nothing forbidden by law.
French justice cannot be exploited for political purposes and must imperatively maintain its distance from a conflation driven by political motives that do not concern it.
Affaire Adem Uzun
Adem Uzun a été arrêté en France le 6 octobre 2012. Le 8 octobre, les médias- informés par des sources judiciaires et policières- l’accusaient d’être un dirigeant du PKK et d’avoir cherché à acheter des armes en France.
Deux commentaires doivent être faits : d’une part, le secret de l’instruction a manifestement été violé et d’autre part, la présomption d’innocence de Monsieur Uzun est également violée.
Il est difficile pour son avocat de répondre à toutes ces accusations, en raison du secret professionnel.
Toutefois, certaines choses doivent être dites.
Premièrement, Adem Uzun nie toute appartenance au PKK. Le dossier ne contient aucun élément tendant à prouver le contraire. Un amalgame est fait entre le Congrès National du Kurdistan (KNK) dont il fait partie et le PKK. Cet amalgame ne repose sur aucune preuve.
Ensuite, il n’y a aucune inculpation de trafic d’armes contre Monsieur Uzun. Il est inculpé pour appartenance à une association de malfaiteurs à finalité terroriste, à savoir appartenance au PKK.
Enfin il semble que Monsieur Uzun est été piégé et qu’il n’a en réalité aucun fait délictueux à se reprocher.
La justice française ne peut pas être instrumentalisée à des fins politiques et doit impérativement prendre ses distances par rapport aux amalgames induis pour des raisons politiques qui ne la concernent pas.
Selma Benkhelifa, avocat belge
19 October, 2012
EUTCC CALLS FOR THE RELEASE OF ADEM UZUN TO FURTHER PEACE!
The EUTCC calls upon the French authorities for the immediate release of Adem Uzun, a
leading official of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) headquartered in Brussels.
His arrest is clearly a political attempt to curry favor with the Turkish authorities who had
just complained that France and Germany were not supporting Turkey’s campaign
against the PKK and its so-called terrorism in Europe. Far from being a terrorist, Adem
Uzun was arrested in Paris where he was preparing to attend a peaceful conference on the
Kurdish situation in Syria.
The detention of Adem Uzun comes at a most inappropriate time as he was actively
campaigning to renew negotiations with Turkey to help solve the long-running Kurdish
problem in that state. Indeed Adem Uzun’s arrest appears all the more unfortunate
because he was one of the Kurdish officials who earlier had met in Oslo with Turkish
officials from 2009 to 2011 in an attempt to start negotiations for peace. Adem Uzun has
been working untiring and constructively in the search for a peaceful settlement based on
justice and respect for everyone’s rights inside Turkey. Turkish authorities should value
theses diplomatic efforts for peace and honour him instead of incarcerating him. Turkey’s
negative response and France’s unfortunate support of it has dealt a blow to this initiative
for peace and should be immediately corrected. The Kurdish problem in Turkey cannot
be solved by arresting and detaining its peace negotiators.
Kariane Westrheim Michael Gunter Hans Brancheidt Judge Essa Moosa
Chair of EUTCC Secretary general Board of Directors Board of Directors
Kariane Westrheim, [email protected], +47 976 42 088
KHRAG CALLS FOR THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF ADEM UZUN
The arrest and detention by the French authorities of Adem Uzun, a leading member of the the Kurdish community and a human rights activists, is a violation of his fundamental human
rights. These human rights are contained in the European Convention for the Protection of
Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. It includes the freedom of movement and the
freedom of expression. We demand his immediate and unconditional release.
Adem Uzun who is an authority on the Kurdish issue in the Middle East and more particularly in Turkey, was on the way to brief certain French parliamentarians on the situation in Syria.
The arrest of Adem Uzun can only be interpreted as political and the French government is
seeking to appease the Turkish authorities. The Turkish authorities has in the past purveyed
false information to certain European countries resulting in certain Kurdish activists being
harassed, arrested and detained unlawfully.
The detention of Adem Uzun is not only sinister but also inopportune as he is actively
involved in the campaign for renewed negotiations between the Turkish government and the
Kurdish people. He was intimately involved in the Oslo peace initiative. Rather than place
leaders such as Adem Uzun in detention, the French government should be supporting his
effort to bring a resolution to the Kurdish question in Turkey.
Adem Uzun has been working closely with the Kurdish Human Rights Action Group to bring
about the peaceful resolution of the Kurdish question in Turkey. The Kurdish Human Rights
Action Group accordingly calls on the French government to immediately release Adem Uzun and request the Turkish government to resume negotiations with the Kurdish people for a speedy settlement of the Kurdish issue in Turkey.
Contact KHRAG Office, P.O. Box 92, Cape Town 8000, South Africa
St. George´s Cathedral, Office 4 and 5, 1 Queen Victoria St. – Cape Town 8000
Tel +27 (0) 21 424 5028, Email: [email protected], Web page: www.khrag.org
Peace in Kurdistan Campaign & Campaign Against Criminalising Communities
Release Kurdish political campaigner Adem Uzun!
Press statement, 20 October 2012
We unreservedly support members of the Kurdish community who are protesting
outside the French parliament today. They are protesting against the unjust and
provocative arrest of Kurdish political campaigner and strategist, Mr AdemUzun, on 6th
October and the intensification of the French state’s arrest and detention operations
against Kurds. According to the reports of the ANF News Agency, over 200 Kurdish
asylum seekers have been taken into custody by French police for political reasons since
2007. The Ahmet Kaya Kurdish Cultural Centre in Paris has been closed by a Paris
AdemUzun, a leading official of the Kurdish National Congress (KNK), was on a peace
mission to attend a conference in the French parliament to discuss the future of Kurds in
Syria. He was arrested following Turkish Prime Minister RecepTayyipErdogan’s
comments in an interview on 27 September that ‘some main European countries such as
Germany and France allowed “terrorist leaders” to freely live in their countries,’ (ANF,
It is scandalous to see political campaigners who are striving to find peaceful diplomatic
solutions to desperate situations that the Kurds face in countries, such as Syria and
Turkey,subjected to arrest as ‘terrorists’ as a result of pressure from the US and Turkish
governments. Adem’s statement in the European Parliament on 29 January 2009
remains as relevant today as it was then, given that the ruling AKP party in Turkey has
intensified its assault against the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and human rights
campaigners, journalists, lawyers, trade unionists and civil society activists in the name
of the “anti-KCK ‘terrorist’ operations”:
“It is unfortunate that those profiting from the war in Turkey are being allowed to
continue escalating it. There is no limit and boundary for these actions. As much as 80%
of incidents that are taking place in Kurdistan do not get reported in the press. There is
bombardment in Southern Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) every day. Dust and smoke raised
by US and Turkish planes reach the sky, where it joins with that raised by Iranian cannon
fire. All civilian Kurdish people in the region are forced to live in fear and panic. What we
have here is a grand-scale brutality and intra-state terrorism. Secret meetings to
liquidate the Kurdish freedom movement are continuously being held. This approach
will not only fail to solve the problem, but it will also shed more blood. Unfortunately,
the EU countries do not act on this matter *positively+”.
Instead, politicians like Adem–who are seeking to halt the influence of war profiteers
and seeking to find a peaceful resolution to the oppressive situation in Turkey and Syria
– find themselves unjustly criminalised and targeted on the absurd grounds of “suspicion
of being involved in the purchase of anti-tank missiles,” (Reuters, 12 October). Adem’s
targeting in France follows the shameful ‘guidance’ provided by the US Department of
the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which earlier had, equally
shamefully, sought to criminalise him, this time on the grounds of ‘drug trafficking’.
As the EU Union Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) had commented on the matter at the
time: “These outrageous, unproven accusations are just a new way of trying to
criminalise well known Kurdish personalities and limiting their legitimate political
activities … The new name appearing on the list is Mr AdemUzun. MrUzun has been
working politically on the Kurdish question for years. His impressive diplomatic
capability and the way he represents the Kurdish issue and the Kurds on an international
level, and particularly within the EU sphere, has helped pave the way toward promoting
peaceful Kurdish diplomacy in Europe. It is obvious that the reason for the US officials’
accusations is not drug-trafficking but rather to inhibit the successful and effectual
diplomatic representation of the Kurds in Europe, the US and elsewhere. Well-known
Kurdish diplomats are being criminalised and efforts made to compel Interpol to hunt
them. In this way the USA and Turkey” – and now, clearly, the French government – “are
trying to stop the peace process in Turkey, to which Kurdish politicians in Turkey and
Europe contribute the most.
‘’The fanciful unproven accusations by the US OFAC are simply made to stop well-known
and acknowledged Kurdish politicians and spokespersons from travelling abroad and
thereby hinder their further contact with the international media and legal institutions,
particularly within the Schengen area”.
We reiterate the solidarity call that the EUTCC made when AdemUzun was criminalised
by the US OFAC: “We call on political bodies, parliamentarian co-operation partners and
NGOs in Europe – who work with these named Kurdish politicians (particularly Mr
AdemUzun) for a transparent political and peaceful solution to the Kurdish question in
Turkey – to send out a letter of confidence and support which takes a stand against
these unproven accusations”.
We call for AdemUzun’s immediate and unconditional release.
For information contact:
Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Email: [email protected]
Contacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 &Melanie Sirinathsingh – Tel: 020 7272 7890
Fax: 020 7263 0596
Patrons: Lord Avebury, Lord Rea, Lord Dholakia, Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP, Jill Evans MEP, Jean Lambert MEP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Hywel Williams MP, ElfynLlwyd MP, John Austin, Bruce Kent, Gareth Peirce, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, John Berger, Edward Albee, Margaret Owen OBE, Prof Mary Davis, Mark Thomas
Announcement from the Executive Kurdistan National Congress Council
The executive member of Kurdistan National Congress Mr Adem Uzun was arrested by French police without any reason on 10th Oct 2012.
The executive Kurdistan National Congress Council condemns this arrestment as it is legally
Mr Adem Uzum as an executive member of Kurdistan National Congress was on his way to
participate in a conferenced related to West Kurdistan’s situation supposed to hold in French
Parliament on 13 Oct 2012. Turkish government in every ways demands the EU governments to prevent Kurdish politician activities. Recently Turkish PM Erdogan labelled Germany and France as they are not supporting Turkey in blocking Kurdish activists. France by arresting Adem Uzun has fulfilled the Turkey’s demand and this will corrupt the EU’s democracy system. Thierry Fragnoli has been known previously against Kurdish movement and as he ordered the arrestment of Adem Uzun too. Thierry Fragnoli after arresting Adem Uzun announced that “he does not understand why Turkish government is not happy about them”. This means that Turkish government is not telling the truth, as France already by arresting Adem Uzun proved their supports to Turkish government.
The speech of Thierry Fragnoli is a significant proven that arresting Adem Uzun has been organized by the supporting French with Turkish government. This is not going to be acceptable by Kurdish people.
A part of population Kurds are participating politically and economically among all EU’s countries.
Kurds also are dealing peacefully with their political agenda and their own human right within the EU legality. EU governments shouldn’t obey Turkish government to prevent Kurdish political movement within their countries. Turkish government is trying to bring their antidemocratic politics to EU. In this case EU became partner with Turkish antidemocratic politics. EU and specially France should stop this criminalized polices in their countries.
Arresting Mr Adem Uzun is a political agenda against Kurds. Kurdistan National Congress
demands that France to release Adem Uzun as soon as possible and apologise from Kurdistan
National Congress and Kurdish people.
Kurdistan National Congress is expecting from the Kurds and their solidarities to protest French government in France and the entire world by putting French government until the release of Mr Adem Uzun.
The Executive of Kurdistan National Congress Council
French prosecutor: Tayyip Erdogan talking nonsense
During his appearance on a tv programme, the prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said; France and Germany do not help us against PKK terrorist organization. Germany does not want this problem to be end. France does not want this problem to be end. This comments angered prosecutor Thierry Fragnoli, who deal with PKK cases for about 6 years.
Lyon – Paris anti-terror prosecutor Thierry Fragnoli, in a written statement to the press; I am one of the eight prosecutors within anti-terror unit working full- time on this cases. 3 other prosecutors also working part-time on PKK cases. 28 constables also looking to the PKK cases. The prosecutor also admitted that the most PKK militants has been arrested and imprisoned in France since 2006. Fragnoli; he is very offended to the Erdogan’s comments and explained this to the Turkish Embassy in Paris in a non-diplomatic statement. The embassy did not want to make the issue bigger and explained to me that the Prime Minister Erdogan talking in general terms. Fragnoli; i did not believed
their explanation as Prime Minister Erdogan’s comments very clear. At the end they say whatever they want to say if they not satisfied. Exactly like our politicians, Turkish Politicians also talking nonsense sometimes. But this time i can not tolerate his comments.
Fransiz savci: Tayyip Erdogan saçmaliyor
Basbakan Recep Tayyip Erdogan’in katildigi bir televizyon programinda, “Fransa ve Almanya PKK terror örgütüne karsi bize yardim etmiyor. Almanya bu sorunun bitmesini istemiyor. Fransa bu sorunun bitmesini istemiyor” sözleri Fransa’da 6 yildir PKK ile ugrasan savci Thierry Fragnoli’nin tepkisine neden oldu.
LYON – Paris antiterör savcisi Thierry Fragnoli basina yaptigi yazili açiklamada, 2006 yilindan bu yana antiterör biriminde bulunan 8 savcidan birisi olarak tam zamanli bu ise baktigini vurguladi. Fragnoli, diger 3 savci arkadasi ve bir de yardimci hakimin yarim zamanli bu isle ilgilendigini ve 28 komiserin sadece PKK konusunda çalistigini söyledi.
2006 yilindan bu yana Fransa ’nin en çok PKK militanini yakalayarak, yargiladigini ve hapse attigini belirten savci Fragnoli, yapilan bu açiklamaya çok gücendigini, durumu hiç de diplomatik olmayan deyimler ile Türkiye ’nin Paris Büyükelçiligi’ne anlattigini söyledi. Büyükelçiligin olayi büyütmemeye çalistigini ve Basbakan Erdogan ’in genel terimler ile konustugunu anlattiklarini belirten Thierry Fragnoli, buna inanmadigini ve Basbakan Erdogan’in konusmasinin gayet net oldugunu belirtti. “Sonuç olarak onlar memnun olmadiklarinda agizlarina geleni söylüyorlar” diyen savci “Aynen bizim politikacilar gibi, Türk politikacilar da bazen saçmaliyorlar. Fakat bu sefer söylenenleri
gerçekten hazmedemiyorum” dedi.(dha)
What can you do?
Speak out against the arrest of Adem Uzun and demand his immediate release.
Write a press release in his support and in protest at what is a highly politically
motivated and illegal arrest.
Write to French government representatives (see details below) and call for the
immediate release of Adem Uzun; explain to them how he has been playing a
constructive role in the search for peace between Turkey and the Kurds.
If you met and have known Adem personally, please give your impressions of his
personality, his political commitment and motivations and the circumstances in
which you have known him.
Further, please call on French political representatives to end the criminalisation
of the Kurds and their legitimate organisations.
We thank you in advance for your interest and support.
The Minister of Justice:
Mme Christiane TAUBIRA
Garde des sceaux, Ministre de la Justice
13 place Vendôme
7501 Paris – France
To the Prime Minister:
Mr Jean-Marc AYRAULT
Hôtel de Matignon
57 rue Varenne
75007 Paris – France
To the Home Secretary:
Mr Manuel VALLS
Ministre de l’intérieur
75800 Paris – France