Freedom for Öcalan now

Statement by the Mathare Social Justice Centre and grassroots organisations in Kenya, 9 October 2022

On 9 October 1998, the great Kurdish freedom fighter was forced to leave from Syria. To find political asylum, he travelled to Moscow and other European capitals without much success clearly showing that there was an international conspiracy to deny him a safe haven.

On 2 February 1999, he arrived in Nairobi from Athens with the assurance that he would be able to fly to Mandela’s South Africa where he was sure to get political asylum.

However, on 15 February 1999, Öcalan was trapped by Turkish special agents in a clandestine operation backed by an alliance of Kenyan secret services, CIA and Mossad. This clearly showed that the Kenyan state was neo-colonial and a vassal of the imperial powers.

He was abducted and flown to Istanbul. He had sham trials when he was sentenced to death which was commuted to life sentence without parole after the intervention of European Court of Human Rights.

He was imprisoned on the Imrali Island where he has been held in solitary confinement for long times and his rights as a prisoner for access to this family and also to his lawyers have been highly restricted. His treatment has been described as torture.

This treatment has not broken Öcalan’s spirit and mind for the freedom of his people. He has written books fully articulate his vision of the for the Kurdish people and all the other people in the region for grassroots democracy where communities cooperate to manage the economy preserving the ecology and with equal participation of women.

He has called consistently for a democratic resolution within Turkey to secure a peaceful and lasting political solution and if that could be achieved, it would have huge ramifications for all other parts of Kurdistan and the Middle East.

Freedom for Ocalan now!


For more information contact Mathare Social Justice Centre