Peace Council: Britain along with the Kurdish Studies and Student Organisation are holding a seminar next week, called ‘The KCK prosecutions and resisting Kurdish Politics’.

The panel will focus on the on-going KCK prosecutions in Turkey which have seen the arrest and prosecution of thousands of Kurdish politicians, lawyers, deputies, counsellors, human rights activists, academics, journalists and many more members of civil society organisations.

Our guest speakers will be the renowned lawyer from Turkey, Mrs. Meral Danis Bestas who currently defends KCK detainees as well as being Vice-Chair of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), responsible for Justice and Human Rights.

From the UK we have Mr. Hugo Charlton who is a Barrister and member of the Bar Human Rights Committee. Mr. Charton is renowned for his human rights work worldwide and formed part of the human rights observers group of the KCK trials in 2010.

Since the prosecutions began in 2009 after the landscape victory of the pro-Kurdish Democratic People’s Party in local elections it is estimated that over 5,000 people have been detained as part of the prosecutions and most of them remanded into custody.

The prosecutions are said, by the authorities, to be a crackdown on the legal or civilian arm of the armed Kurdish liberation movement, the PKK. To this end, the government has put no limits on the people it has arrested as part of the operations. Amongst those arrested are over 50 lawyers who were defending the KCK detainees who find themselves indicted with their clients. The prominent writer/publisher Ragib Zarakolu (later released after international pressure) and an Nobel award nominee, Mrs. Busra Ersanli, a prominent professor of political sciences at the Marmara University in Istanbul, and member of pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Parties constitutional reform committee. In addition the prosecutions have also seen the arrest and detention of over 100 journalists (more than China) who have done no more than their jobs as journalists and reported on the on-going human rights abuses in Turkey.



Friday, 18th May 2012, 6.00-8.00pm
KLT – SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG (Russell Square tube station)


Opening Speech: Dr. Janroj Keles, Academic/Researcher

Meral Danis Bestas, Vice-Chair of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP),
responsible for Justice and Human Rights.
Hugo Charlton, Barrister, Member of the Bar Human Rights Committee.

Ali Has, Solicitor-Advocate and Spokesperson for Peace Counsel: Britain

For further information please contact: or Kurdish Society at SOAS, Kurdish Studies and Students Organisation (KSSO)