The KNK’s founding congress was held in Amsterdam on 24th May 1999 as a result of four years of discussions and planning within the Kurdish movement. The event marks a major breakthrough in the political organization of the Kurds, bringing together representatives from all parts of the divided Kurdistan with the common aim to solve the disunion between Kurdish political parties. The Kurdistan National Congress was created to embody the moral unity of the Kurdish nation and to elaborate a concerted strategy for democratic solution to the Kurdish question within the existing states. The KNK Charter, adopted on 26 May 1999, outlines its aims and objectives:
The Congress resides temporarily in Brussels until the return to Kurdistan. It is expanding its activities worldwide and now has offices in many major cities. Its work consists of:
The political lobbying of governments, the EU, the European Parliament, Council of Europe, the UN and other international institutions;
Kongra Netewiya Kurdistan
Disseminating regular information about the changing situation in Kurdistan to the media and public, organizing meetings, seminars, conferences and events promoting Kurdish history and culture;
KNK Head Office
The Congress works for the revival and progress of the Kurdish language and culture.
• The national struggle of Eastern part of Kurdistan has to develop further, and we are ready for a new process to achieve our goals through peaceful means. We have to be ready for these changes and the national unity of our people.
Rue Jean Stas 41
1060 Brussels, Belgium Tel: 0032 2 647 3084 www.kongrakurdistan.net
6-9 Manor Gardens London N7 6LA
Tel: 0207 272 7890 [email protected]
The Congress tries to achieve peace in the Middle East and the world, as well as working against all forms of discrimination and extremism.”
• Our meeting clearly declares that there are other ethnic groups living among our national geography, and these nations and ethnic minorities are to be protected, respected on their religion, creed, beliefs etc., and we are to establish a secular democratic system, which will respect every other people in the region
“For the sake of strengthening cooperation and the common struggle among the parts of Kurdistan, the Congress works on the basis of national unity and the main interests of the people of Kurdistan.
women’s groups, trade unions and others to raise awareness about political issues and human rights violations in all parts of Kurdistan.
The Congress tries to solve the problems among the people of Kurdistan and the neighboring countries peacefully and in a friendly manner.
Main points decided at the 13th General Meeting of KNK, held in Brussels on 25-26 May 2013.
The Congress rejects all forms of violence, but supports defensive measures.
• Democratisation of Middle East can be achieved through the recognition of Kurdish identity and Kurdistan as a nation. Therefore those countries that are either directly or indirectly involved have to recognise this problem, change their position on this important and sensitive issue, and listen to the Kurdish people’s wishes. On these grounds Kirkuk and other parts of the Kurdish region that were taken have to be included again in the map of Kurdistan, and these countries have to show their respect for the map of Kurdistan and its territory.
The Congress recognizes the social reality of Kurds and Kurdistan, and supports and implements the principle of positive discrimination towards women’s participation in all its activities, projects and organizations.
The Congress supports the national liberation struggle of Kurdistan in all parts (Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria) and regards the provision of any kind of necessary support for the sake of achieving political organization as its duty.
• On this very important gathering the Kurds have paid particular attention to the developments in South Western Kurdistan, (within Syrian state territory). We fully support our Kurdish brothers and sisters who are right now fighting for their freedom.
The Congress, as a representative establishment of the people of Kurdistan, works on an international level for the sake of obtaining and maintaining its interests and for this aim cooperates with the political organizations of Kurdistan.
• In the Northern part of Kurdistan, there is a peace process initiated by Kurdish leader Mr. Ocalan. We are calling on the Turkish government and other countries that may have interest in this process to listen very carefully to the wishes for a democratic solution for the Kurdish nation. Therefore the peace solution or road map, proposed by the Kurdish leader, has to be taken into account, in order to achieve a permanent peace in the country. Therefore we are calling on Turkey to release Mr. Ocalan and all other Kurdish political prisoners.
The Congress supports the preservation of freedom and liberation for all the religions, sects and beliefs in Kurdistan.
Publishing materials, including an official KNK bulletin;
Working alongside politicians, NGOs, human rights group,
• Kurdistan as a nation has the right to live and create their own destiny as a Kurdish nation in their own land.
For all of the latest Kurdish news, see these sources:
ANF English: https://anfenglishmobile.com/
Hawar News: https://www.hawarnews.com/en/
Rojava Information Center: https://rojavainformationcenter.com
Women Defend Rojava: http://womendefendrojava.net/en/
Rojava Centre for Strategic Studies
East Kurdistan/Rojhelat: the struggle of the Kurds for democracy and freedom in Iran
Join us for a discussion of The Kurdish peoples’ struggle for rights, for gender equality and democratic confederalism which is critical for the future of Iran, the Middle East and the end to war and oppression.
Saturday 28 March 2.30 – 4.30pm
Room G3, SOAS, Russell Square WC1H 0XG
The event is co-hosted by Peace in Kurdistan and SOAS Kurdish Society and supported by Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) UK
Speakers include Salah Abbasi is a political analyst, writer and literary critic from East Kurdistan; Evin Abrishami is a human rights campaigner from Mahabad in Iran; Diba Alikhani is a women’s rights activist from Kurdistan-lran; Dr Allan Hassaniyan, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Kurdish Studies, University of Exeter
All welcome! The event is free but please RSVP to
Peace in Kurdistan: estella [email protected] – 07846 666 804
SOAS Kurdish Society: Bertangunes [email protected] – 07925 072 753
Peace in Kurdistan stands in solidarity on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2020, alongside all Kurdish women, across Kurdistan, in the diaspora, and all who are engaged in the struggle for liberation and for their just democratic rights. We stand with all women fighting for justice and freedom from state violence, who are so often at the forefront of global liberation movements.
In these tragic times with the Kurdish-Turkish conflict well and truly ignited in Syria the struggle of the Kurdish people for their genuine liberation remains as urgent as ever. In the face of systematic violence and state oppression, Kurdish women’s voices and activism are among the loudest and most fearless of the mass popular movement that has emerged over recent decades.
They so often pay the highest price. Women politicians have been deliberately targeted during the conflict, for example, Hervin Khalaf, the secretary general of the Future Syria party, a greatly respected politician and diplomat, who was assassinated by Turkish backed mercenaries in Syria in October 2019. Continue reading “INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2020 SOLIDARITY”
The 2020 International Peace Delegation visited Turkey between 11th and 16th February 2020, having previously written to Abdulhamit Gül, the Minister of Justice for the Republic of Turkey, requesting to meet with him personally and also requesting his co-operation in arranging a visit to Imrali Prison to meet with Abdullah Öcalan. There was no response from the office of Abdulhamit Gül. Continue reading “2020 International Peace Delegation to Imrali”
10 December 2019 Ankara
İnsan Hakları Derneği / Human Rights Association Necatibey Caddesi No: 82/11–12, Kızılay – Ankara Phone: +90 312 230 35 67-68-69
Fax: +90 312 230 17 07 [email protected] │ www.ihd.org.tr
Türkiye İnsan Hakları Vakfı / Human Rights Foundation of Turkey Mithatpaşa Caddesi No: 49/11 6. Kat Kızılay – ANKARA Phone: +90 312 310 66 36
Fax: +90 312 310 64 63
[email protected] │ ww.tihv.org.tr
I. II. III. IV.
V. VI. VII. VIII.
IX. X. XI. XII. XIII.
Introduction 5 Permanent State of Emergency 7 The Right to Life 9
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 11
The Kurdish Issue 19
Freedom of Expression and the Press 23
Freedom of Association and Persecution of Human Rights Organizations and Defenders 27
Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Demonstration 29 The Right to Political Participation 31 Violence against Women 33 Refugees / Asylum-Seekers / Immigrants 35 Economic and Social Rights 39
2019 is the year that the İmralı Isolation System’s reflections on law legal and political arena have become more visible in Turkey. As known, the law and political arena in Turkey, which were already antidemocratic and cause continuous dynamism of coup, have been under the rule of the Emergency Decree Laws (KHK) and the State of Emergency declared on 20 July 2016 and have been institutionalised and become permanent following incidents on 15 July 2016 and 20 July 2016 respectively coup attempt and the State of Emergency.
The most clear reflection of this period is that the Imrali Isolation System, which is implemented as a prototype, has been institutionalised and spread across the country. In fact, the Imrali isolation practices, which were developed outside the boundaries of law until 2016, have become normative practices for the whole country by adopting these practices in question as a law. It is equal to the period that the penal code, laws on criminal procedures and execution dated 2005, which were discussed also as “Öcalan Laws” and drew the borders of criminal sanctions of politics, were spread across the country.
Apart from the reflections on law, the isolation in the İmralı Prison’s relationship with various dialectics have become clearer in the politics in 2019. Mr Öcalan has made analyses, shared his ideas of solutions and methods from his perspective within the framework of the “İmralı Stance” in visits even under the conflict and tense atmosphere. There were responses, negative or positive, from different groups and figures to Mr Öcalan’s position. The responses in question demonstrated the relationship between the Isolation System of Imralı and war-peace, coup mechanics-democratization and chaos- solution dialectics in a more visible way. In this respect, Mr Öcalan stated that the isolation—both the general isolation and the period that continues for 4 years—on him is related to present wars and he has been resisting—in line with the principles of peace—to the isolation in spite of the difficulties.
As it is known, no news was received from Mr. Öcalan in 2017 and 2018. The date of last contact with Mr. Öcalan was on 11 September 2016 when concerns about the right to life increased and protests intensified. Similarly, there was an absolute isolation including ban on visits from lawyers and relatives; the communication right namely sending and/or receiving letters, telegraph, telephone in 2019. However, 2019 became also the year that people showed democratic sensitivity and raised their concerns about the problem.
Ms Leyla Güven, the MP from Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the co-chair of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), made the following statement in the courtroom on 7 November 2018:
“Today, the isolation is not imposed on Mr Öcalan only but on the
whole people. Isolation is a crime against humanity. For being a member of the people, I begin a hunger strike action, which is permanent and non-alternating, to protest the
isolation on Mr Öcalan.” She made the statement while she was in pre-trial detention for
16 February 2020|Shadow Munich Security Conference
A marathon evening of visions, analyses, explanations, performative contributions and discussions, simultaneously and in response to the Munich Security Conference.
Every year in February, Munich transforms into a stage for world politics during the Munich Security Conference (MSC). A stage is given to political leaders to share their visions on security, safety and global order, 800 meters away from the Münchner Kammerspiele. The MSC, a supposedly “neutral” platform, is a forum for debate for some of the most powerful people in the world. Over 4,000 police officers, hundreds of police cars and countless barriers dominate public space for a few days in order for this to happen. Deals are made behind closed doors and hardly any space for public debate or exchange is accommodated.This spectacle of power demands a counter-proposal.
On Saturday the 15th February 2020 an alternative conference was held, with speakers and performers who made a collective plea for interdependency. Together they imagine what our world could look like if radically different people, with radically different ideas, are in charge of our security.
The full video broadcast is available to view below or at this link here.
********************Key Time Codes In The Video********************
1) Lara Staal introduces Shadow Munich Conference (IN ENGLISH) – 00:07
2) Necati Öziri (IN GERMAN) – 11:53
3) How to Be Many in an Age of Authoritarianism?
Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Nandini Sundar, Oloruntoyin LaToya Manly-Spain, Moderated by Radha D’Souza (IN ENGLISH) – 33:21
Linda Tuhiwai Smith – 37:11
Oloruntoyin LaToya Manly-Spain – 46:03
Nandini Sundar – 57:51
Further discussion post-presentations – 1:06:38
Radha D’Souza: Post-discussion concluding thoughts – 1:14:55
4) Hengameh Yaghoobifarah (IN GERMAN) – 1:16:03
5) The Terror of Surveillance and Militarisation
Erella Grassiani, Younes Saramifar, Moderated by Radha D’Souza (IN ENGLISH) – 1:27:13
Erella Grassiani – 1:32:47
Younes Saramifar – 1:41:02
Further discussion post-presentations – 1:47:49
Radha D’Souza: Post-discussion concluding thoughts – 2:17:06
6) Mateja Meded (IN GERMAN) – 2:21:39
7) One upon a time in the little city (IN ENGLISH) 2:39:30 –(SOUND BECOMES CLEARER FROM 02:40:30)
8) Know your ethics
Sean Peters (IN ENGLISH) – 2:50:59
VIDEO ADVERTISEMENT CAMPAIGN (still part of Sean Peters’s presentation) – 2:59:30
9) The Climates of Catastrophe
Luisa Neubauer, Bruno Rodríguez, Beatrice Rukanyanga, Moderated by Radha D’Souza (IN ENGLSH) – 3:11:38
Luisa Neubauer: 3:19:20
Bruno Rodríguez: 3:27:29
Beatrice Rukanyanga: 3:32:38
Further discussion post-presentations: 3:44:40
10) Final thoughts, and Poem
Anissa Boujdaini, Radha D’Souza (IN ENGLISH) – 3:53:26
POEM READ BY Anissa Boujdaini (IN ENGLISH) – 3:57:56