A new initiative by Peace in Kurdistan Campaign and Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC) UK unites members of parliament, lawyers, journalists, political commentators and activists in a common cause, to demonstrate support for detained Kurdish politician Adem Uzun and demand his release from prison.

We have already collected dozens of signatures but we need more! To add your name to the growing list, please email ‘I would like to join the Friends of Adem Uzun’ to estella24@tiscali.co.uk with your name, profession and organisation as appropriate and we will add you.



The Kurdish politician Adem Uzun was arrested in France on 6 October 2012. Having been denied bail, Adem remains in detention awaiting a trial which could be months away.

Adem Uzun is a prominent activist working to achieve peace through the resumption of negotiations between Turkey and the Kurds. A leading politician with the Kurdistan National Congress, KNK, Adem is well-known to anyone involved in the Kurdish issue, especially in the European Parliament, and has been one of the main Kurdish negotiators in the so-called “Oslo Process” with high-level Turkish Government’s representatives.

The charge against Adem Uzun is not supported by credible evidence. At the time of his arrest, Adem Uzun was in Paris to take part in preparations for a conference on Western Kurdistan (Syria), which was scheduled to take place on 13 October 2012.

We believe that the arrest of Adem Uzum, which has been made on Turkey’s request,  is an attempt to undermine the search for a peaceful political resolution of the Kurdish question.

The prosecution intend to equate two separate organisations, the KNK with the PKK, in order to de-legitimise political efforts towards resolution of the conflict. This same tactic is today being used by Turkey to repress and silence the non-violent dissent of thousands of Kurdish politicians and activists.

The offence of belonging to a terrorist organisation in France and across the EU, is a highly politicised ‘crime by association’. It criminalises the entire Kurdish political movement by imputing activists to be the PKK, in the clear absence of any engagement in violence.

The EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) Conference, meeting in Brussels on 5th and 6th December, passed a special resolution calling on the French authorities to immediately release Adem Uzun. ‘’As a leading legitimate politician of the Kurdish political movement Mr. Uzun is well known for his advocacy of a democratic and peaceful solution to the Kurdish problem for which he was chosen to be one of the negotiators in the Oslo Peace Talks,’’ the EUTCC stated. The resolution urged the ‘’expeditious conclusion to his case by dropping the accusations against him’’.

Adem Uzun is fully committed to a peaceful settlement and we are concerned that peace and reconciliation will be much harder to achieve without the expertise of such a seasoned activist.

We strongly reiterate the demand to French authorities for our friend Adem Uzun’s immediate release and for the dropping of the baseless accusations.

We urge everyone who is committed to a peaceful political resolution of the Kurdish conflict to declare themselves friends of Adem Uzun and to add your voice to the calls for his release.


Friends of Adem

Estella Schmid, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign & CAMPACC; David Morgan, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign; Melanie Sirinathsingh, Peace in Kurdistasn Campaign; Philip Khaled Brennan, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign; Paul Burnham, housing worker, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign;  Les Levidow, Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC); Saleh Mamon, CAMPACC; Desmond Fernandes, CAMPACC; Anne Gray, retired academic, CAMPACC; Sarah Ludford MEP; Andrew Duff MEP; Jean Lambert MEP; Conor Murphy MP; Elfyn Llwyd MP;  Hywel Williams MP; Mary Gindell MP; Frances Webber, human rights lawyer and writer; Elizabeth Forrester, lawyer; Alastair Lyons, lawyer; Margaret Owen OBE, international human rights lawyer; Prof Bill Bowring, Barrister, Director of the LLM/MA in Human Rights, School of Law Birkbeck, University of London; Hugo Charlton, barrister, 1 Grays Inn; John Hobson,lawyer; Melanie Gingell, barrister; Nick Hildyard, policy analyst; Jonathan Fryer, writer, lecturer and broadcaster; Tony Simpson, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation; Prof Mary Davis; Bruce Kent, Vice-President Pax Christi; Dr Dafydd Iwan, B.Arch., LL.D.,Plaid Cymru, the Party of Wales; Dr Felix Padel,  Social Anthropologist, Author and Political Activist; Lindsey German, Convenor, Stop the War Coalition; Dr Vicki Sentas, School of Law, University of New South Wales, Sydney; Kariane Westrheim, PhD, Associate professor,  University of Bergen, EUTCC Chair; Dr Michael Gunter, Professor of Political Science, Tennessee Technological University, Secretary General of EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC); Rojin Tasman, Law student, Anglia Ruskin University; Azad Dewani, PhD researcher in Peace Studies, UK; Jonathan Bloch, councillor;  Alain Hertzmann, Branch secretary London North West Branch  9708,  UNITEtheunion, UK; Stephen Smellie, Deputy Convenor, UNISON Scotland; Fred Leplat, Socialist Resistance; Sarah Parker, translator; Ed McArthur, activist; Jagdeesh Singh of the 1984 Genocide Coalition; David Brunetti, photographer; Glyn Harries, Hackney Trades Union Council, personal capacity; David Ambrose, Performer, Writer, Director of Beyond The Border International Storytelling Festival; Mike Arnott, Secretary, Dundee Trades Union Council; Harem Karen, Kurdistan Tribune; Penny Dimond, Factory of the Eccentric Actor; Orsola Casagrande, journalist; Prof. Khatchatur I. Pilikian (SHS, LH, LSFC); Andy Higginbottom, Secretary of Colombia Solidarity Campaign; Kani Areef, UCL Law Postgraduate; Derwich M. Ferho, director of Kurdish Institute, Brussels; Mehmet Ali Dogan, Social-Anthropologist, France; Yuksel Guney, political activist; Jyan Avesta, Kurdistan LGBT Initiative and Halkevi, Kurdish-Turkish Community Centre; Manaz Baloch UK community