29 January 2015

For immediate use

Kurdish activists in Scotland and their supporters gather in Glasgow on Saturday to celebrate the success of the Kurdish defence of Kobane where ISIS forces have been pushed out.

The gathering in the UNISON offices in Glasgow brings together Kurds living in Scotland along with political and trade union activists supportive of the struggle against ISIS and the struggle for Kurdish rights.

They will be joined by the Rebar Hajo, UK representative of the main Kurdish party in Syria, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and Michelle Allison and Akif Wan of the Kurdish National Congress (KNK).

Mr Hajo will give an up to date report on the situation in Rojava, the Kurdish region of Syria, and the struggle against ISIS.

Ms Allison will describe the role that women have played in organising and leading the Kurdish movement and the armed defence of Kobane.

Organisers of the event include Roza Salih of the Glasgow based Kurdish Human Rights and Culture Group and Stephen Smellie, Deputy Convenor of UNISON Scotland.

Ms Salih, one of the original Glasgow Girls who campaigned for the rights of asylum seekers and is from South Kurdistan, said

“The world has been inspired by the struggle to defend Kobane from the monsters of ISIS. The recent success is very welcome but the struggle to defend the people of Rojava and Iraq and defeat ISIS will continue. We hope that our discussions will help co-ordinate efforts in Scotland to support the people of Kurdistan.”

Mr Smellie, who visited Kurdistan in November, said

“Hundreds of thousands of people from Kobane and the Ezidi people from the Shengal region of Iraq have been displaced by ISIS and are now surviving in freezing conditions in refugee camps in Turkey and Iraq. There is a desperate need to ensure that humanitarian relief is provided to them. However we also need to ensure that resources are provided to the Kurdish armed forces to enable them to defend their communities and take the fight to ISIS.”

Also speaking at the event are Anni Pues of the Scottish Green Party and Ako Zada of the Kurdish Human Rights and Culture Group.


For further information contact

Roza Salih – 07597318029
Stephen Smellie – 07740096864

Rebar Hajo (PYD), Michelle Allison and Akif Wan (KNK) will be meeting with MSPs in Parliament on Thursday 29th and they, and Roza Salih and Stephen Smellie are available for interview on Thursday and Friday. Please contact Stephen Smellie to arrange.