Peace in Kurdistan is supporting the international on-line petition to demand justice for Kurdish political prisoners. To sign the petition, follow this link: http://www.petitions24.net/soutenir_les_grevistes_de_la_faim_kurdes
Around 400 political prisoners in Turkey began an indefinite hunger strike to demand justice for Abdullah Ocalan and to raise awareness of the continued persecution of the Kurds in Turkey. Just a few weeks later, solidarity actions by hundreds more are taking place across prisons in Turkey and in Europe by Kurdish activists.
Attached you will find information on the origins of the strike, the demands, letters from imprisoned hunger strikers and an interview with Fuad Kav, a Kurdish journalist and writer who is participating in the hunger strike in Strasbourg.
The strikers’ demands are clear. Ocalan has now been isolated from the outside world, with no visit, letters or phone calls, since July 2011 – a total of 251 days. The Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Europe has both the authority and the responsibility to ensure that he is not being subjected to inhumane or degrading treatment on the prison island of Imrali, where he has been held since 1999. For his removal from isolation and for renewed dialogue for a negotiated settlement to the Kurdish conflict, these striking prisoners, politicians and solidarity activists are willing to put their own health on the line.
You can help! Make sure to sign the petition <http://www.petitions24.net/soutenir_les_grevistes_de_la_faim_kurdes> and show your support for the struggle. Read and spread the information attached here, including a letter written to Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the European Council you can also sign and send to him. Keep up with daily updates from the hunger strikers here: http://kurdishfreedom.wordpress.com/
Every small action counts!
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 4131
Patrons: Lord Avebury, Lord Rea, Lord Dholakia, Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP, Jean Lambert MEP, Alyn Smith MEP, Bairbre de Brún MEP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Hywel Williams MP, Elfyn Llwyd MP, John Austin, Gareth Peirce, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, John Berger, Edward Albee, Margaret Owen OBE, Mark Thomas
Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland
67075 Strassbourg Cedex
Fax:0033 388 412 799
Dear General Secretary,
Since 1st March 2012, 15 Kurds have been on hunger strike in Strasbourg, which they will continue for an indefinite period of time. They are protesting against the Turkish policies towards the Kurdish people.
Although the Kurdish question presents the main problem in Turkey, it has up till now not been resolved. The main reason for this lies in the Turkish state’s denial of universal rights and freedoms to the Kurdish population. In Turkey alone, there are 15 million Kurds. As a result of the war policy, tens of thousands of Kurds and Turks have lost their lives to date – and millions of Kurds have been driven out of their homeland.
Both the Kurdish and the Turkish peoples, as well as others who live in Turkey, long for a peaceful and democratic resolution to the Kurdish question in Turkey. The negotiating partners to the resolution of the Kurdish question at the present time are the AKP government and the representative of the Kurdish people, Abdullah Ocalan. The fact that the AKP are in fact the Turkish government, and that Mr Ocalan is the legitimate political representative of the majority of Kurds, shows that these two parties represent the main actors and key factors in a political resolution. Therefore, over the past few years, a phase of dialogue and negotiations between Mr Ocalan and the Turkish state took place. Even if there was a certain development of the issue, this phase has finally failed. Since 27th July 2011, a total isolation policy has been practised against the prisoners on the prison island Imrali, where all visits to Mr Ocalan from his lawyers have been refused. In December 2011, 36 of Mr Ocalan’s lawyers were imprisoned.
The fact that, in the matter of the Kurdish question, the Turkish government has regained the upper hand through war and isolation policies, has understandably caused deep concern for the Kurdish people and the European public. The life, health and safety of Mr Ocalan are now of central importance. Now, the European Council and the CPT are the only institutions, who can relieve the concerns of the Kurdish people regarding the situation of Mr Ocalan.
We also share these concerns and call on the CPT to visit the prison island Imrali as soon as possible, to investigate the situation of Mr Ocalan on site, and to share the results of the visit and investigation with the public.
Consequently, we call on the European Council and the General Secretary to put the Kurdish question on its agenda, and to do all it can, within its powers, to finding a resolution to the Kurdish question through dialogue.
We remain in anticipation and hope that our thoughts and demands find a sympathetic ear.