News

Poem at the End by Séamas Carraher

Notes

In these hard days for so many who knows any longer “how it will all end”?

…it wasn’t much better in the 30’s for a poet like César Vallejo watching the rot of fascism eat away a Europe long fattened on the contradictions of enormous wealth and immeasurable poverty. Much the human story… Vallejo’s poem ‘Piedra Negra sobre una Piedra Blanca’ ends with the lines:

witnesses are /  the Thursdays and the humerus bones, / the loneliness, the rain, the roads…”

For a poet with a heart as wide as Vallejo’s this world must have been close to the Hell it has become for so many people since… the plague of poverty and inhumanity a daily war once cleverly concealed beneath the mask of business-as-usual; now, perhaps, in this time of Plague, that mask is slipping with nature’s ‘revenge’ on the centuries of human arrogance and greed where so many of us are being ‘asked’ to die abandoned in army tents or isolated in lonely rooms only to have our bodies either neatly wrapped in cellophane left lying (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P637eJGbo80) on the streets or carted away by the military (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeGvMq00k3c) for a business-like funeral…

For want of  better world… always for want of a better world…

Short Bio:

Séamas Carraher lives in Dublin, Ireland and works with homeless street drinkers. His poetry has appeared in a number of online and print journals. Recent work, (both poetry and non-fiction), have been published at https://www.globalrights.info/?s=seamas+carraher. Links to other poems can be found at http://www.seamascarraher.blogspot.ie/. He wants to believe that our voices raised, both individually and collectively, can become a map to a better, truly human, world.

James Kelman reading from his new book ‘The Freedom to Think Kurdistan’

thi wurd presents the launch of James Kelman’s new book ‘The Freedom to Think Kurdistan’ published by thi word: https://twitter.com/thiwurd

Copies available from Peace in Kurdistan: [email protected]

Mobile: 07846 666 804

Peace in Kurdistan

Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question

Email: [email protected]

Contacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 & Melanie Gingell – Tel: 020 7272 7890

Patrons: John Austin, Baroness Blower of Starch Green, former GS NUT, Prof Bill Bowring, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Corbyn MP,  Prof Mary Davis, Lord Dholakia, Simon Dubbins, UNITE International Director,  Jill Evans, former MEP, Desmond Fernandes, Lindsey German, Convenor STWC, Melanie Gingell, Christopher Gingell, Prof Dr. Michael Gunther, Secretary-General, EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC), Rahila Gupta, Nick Hildyard, Dafydd Iwan, Former President Plaid Cymru, James Kelman, Bruce Kent, Jean Lambert, former MEP, Elfyn Llwyd, Aonghas MacNeacail, Scottish Gaelic poet, Mike Mansfield QC, David Morgan, Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, GFTU, Dr. Jessica Ayesha Northey, Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Kate Osamor MP, Margaret Owen OBE, Ali Gul Ozbek, Former Councillor and Mayor of Haringey; Gareth Peirce, Dr Felix Padel, Maxine Peake, actor, Trevor Rayne, writer, Lord Rea, Joe Ryan, Tony Simpson, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, Stephen Smellie, PIK Trade Union Liaison Officer, Jonathan Steele, Steve Sweeney, , Gianni Tognoni, General Secretary Permanent People’s Tribunal, Dr Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Dr Tom Wakeford, Dr Derek Wall, Julie Ward, former MEP, Kariane Westrheim, Chair, EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC); Hywel Williams MP.

KURDISH NEWS BRIEFING, 09 April – 26 April 2020

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

https://twitter.com/RojavaIC

Women Defend Rojava: http://womendefendrojava.net/en/

Rojhelat: http://rojhelat.info/en/

Rojava Centre for Strategic Studies

http://nrlsrojava.com/en/

Komun Academy: 

https://komun-academy.com

Continue reading “KURDISH NEWS BRIEFING, 09 April – 26 April 2020”

Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley talks on Rojava and the Left

20 April 2020|Thomas Jeffrey Miley

The Rojava revolution faces great challenges going forward.  But the revolutionary forces have already made history.  Their democratic confederal project – with its emphasis on direct democracy against the state, multicultural accommodation, gender emancipation, and social ecology – has inspired people across the globe.  In a time when the very future of humanity, and of life on the planet, are under unprecedented threat, the revolutionary experiment in Rojava stands out as a valiant attempt, in the midst of a still-unfolding catastrophe, to construct a radical democratic alternative to spiralling violence and tyranny.

Thomas Jeffrey Miley is a Lecturer of Political Sociology at the University of Cambridge, and a member of the executive committee of the European Union Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC).  He is co-editor, with Federico Venturini, of Your Freedom and Mine: Abdullah Ocalan and the Kurdish Question in Erdogan’s Turkey (Montreal: Black Rose Books, 2018).

Continue reading “Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley talks on Rojava and the Left”

Open letter to Dominic Raab: Prevention of the Spread of Covid 19 in North East Syria

Rt. Hon. Dominic Raab MP

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

King Charles Street

Whitehall

London SW1A 2AH

15 April 2020

Dear Foreign Secretary

Ref. Prevention of the Spread of Covid 19 in North East Syria

We are writing to you in extreme urgency to implore you to use all your available means, diplomatic and economic, to ensure that COVID-19 does not rapidly spread in the AANES (the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria), also known as Rojava, (SYRIAN KURDISTAN).  We beg you to break the silence over Turkey’s role in allowing this predicted catastrophe to occur. Continue reading “Open letter to Dominic Raab: Prevention of the Spread of Covid 19 in North East Syria”

RELEASE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS IN TURKEY

PEACE IN KURDISTAN

As of 13 April 2020, Turkey had recorded 61,049 cases of Covid-19 and 1,296 deaths from it. Since the first case was diagnosed on 10 March the toll is rising quickly. Turkey’s prisons are dangerous; the Minister of Justice said that 17 inmates of five prisons had been infected with the coronavirus and that three have died. Prisoners report lack of personal cleaning materials, intermittent flows of hot and cold water, no disinfectant, insufficient gloves and masks and staff without protective wear. Prisoners are reported to be having to pay for masks. There are approaching 300,000 prisoners in Turkey and approximately one-fifth of these are political prisoners, many of them charged with terrorism-related offences since the failed coup attempt of 2016. Continue reading “RELEASE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS IN TURKEY”

STATEMENT ON GRUP YORUM AND THE DEATH OF HELIN BOLEK

Those who seek justice in Turkey must not be left alone. We demand that all those who support democracy in Britain, all those in this country who work for justice, and all who enjoy the right to freedom of expression, use whatever means you have to call on the government and other authorities in Turkey to end the repression of Grup Yorum. Helin Bolek’s death was a sacrifice and tragedy. The tragedy unfolding must be ended – now.

 Peace in Kurdistan

 On 3 April 2020 Helin Bolek died on the 288th of a hunger strike turned death fast. Helin Bolek was a member of the popular Turkish folk band Grup Yorum. She protested the repression of her group and its supporters in Turkey and abroad by the Turkish government, led by President Erdogan. Grup Yorum demanded the right to sing freely, an end to the arrest, imprisonment and torture of Grup Yorum members and supporters, and an end to the ban on Grup Yorum concerts, which have been prohibited for nearly three years. Police attacked mourners at Helin Bolek’s funeral and prevented her from having a proper burial. We are responding to an appeal from parliamentarians and lawyers in Turkey for intervention from abroad to stop further deaths of Grup Yorum members and supporters and to back calls for the authorities in Turkey to stop criminalising dissenting musicians and artists in that country. Continue reading “STATEMENT ON GRUP YORUM AND THE DEATH OF HELIN BOLEK”

KURDISH NEWS BRIEFING, 25 MARCH – 08 APRIL 2020

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

https://twitter.com/RojavaIC

Women Defend Rojava: http://womendefendrojava.net/en/

Rojhelat: http://rojhelat.info/en/

Rojava Centre for Strategic Studies

http://nrlsrojava.com/en/

Komun Academy: 

https://komun-academy.com

NEWS

  1. Syria’s isolated Kurds wait and worry as coronavirus threat grows
  2. Happy Birthday, Abdullah Öcalan!
  3. Riot erupts in southeast penitentiary, after parliamentary committee approves prisoner release bill
  4. Turkish state accused of murder after death of hunger-striking Grup Yorum musician
  5. Turkey imposes curfew on youth, shuts borders of 31 cities: Erdogan
  6. Turkey: Lira at crisis levels as virus hits trade, factories
  7. Turkey could tighten coronavirus controls as strains, criticism grow
  8. Syrian Kurds say no escapees after IS prison revolt
  9. Turkey is continuing its attacks in northeast Syria despite the coronavirus crisis
  10. Turkey opposition calls for ‘stay at home’ order over coronavirus
  11. SDF: ISIS detainees escape prison in northeast Syria
  12. Turkey suspends all international flights, expands restrictions
  13. Turkey Moves Migrants From Greek Border Amid Virus Pandemic
  14. Kurdish journalists demand release of “political hostages”
  15. Turkey Holds First Tender Related to Istanbul Canal Project

  Continue reading “KURDISH NEWS BRIEFING, 25 MARCH – 08 APRIL 2020”

Open Letter to Dominic Raab: Release Political Prisoners in Turkey.

Rt. Hon. Dominic Raab MP

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
Whitehall
London SW1A 2AH

Dear Foreign Secretary

Ref. Release political prisoners in Turkey

We are deeply concerned about the situation for political prisoners in Turkey. It is of great importance that we don’t allow the accelerating spread of corona virus across the world to provide cover for further violations against those who are in prison, particularly those who are there simply for the expression of peaceful opinions.

We are aware of reports that the Turkish government is engaged in the preparation of a law that will result in the release up to 100,000 prisoners. While this appears to be a progressive step there remains a real danger that political prisoners will not be included in the proposed amnesty. This would be an appalling state of affairs. The spread of corona virus in prisons will result in a deadly outcome for many, especially for older prisoners and those with underlying health conditions. The risks for these prisoners, who have committed no internationally recognised crimes, will be exacerbated by the overcrowding and insanitary conditions in which they are held.  We are concerned that the continuing incarceration in these conditions amounts to a potential death sentence. Continue reading “Open Letter to Dominic Raab: Release Political Prisoners in Turkey.”

Report of 2020 International Peace Delegation to İmrali

 

 

Opening Press Conference at HDP Headquarters Ankara with Pervin Buldan, Julie Ward, Hişyar Özsoy, Melanie Gingell, Ögmundur Jónasson, Shavanah Taj and Felix Padel.
Introduction
The İmralı Peace Delegation visited Turkey between 11th and 16th February 2020, witnessing and gathering evidence about the state of civil society and human rights in the country. The  delegation sought to visit the imprisoned leader of the Kurdish freedom movement Abdullah Öcalan in order to assess his situation and conditions of detention. The annual delegation reports have provided a base measure of human rights in Turkey over the last decade and enabled a diverse group of academics, politicians, lawyers, faith leaders, journalists and trade unionists to visit various locations and assess the situation for themselves. The International Initiative organises the delegations with the primary purpose of keeping the cruel situation of Öcalan’s detention in the public eye, and as part of a wider campaign to highlight the need to reinstitute a peace process in Turkey.
The delegation this year consisted of Ögmundur Jónasson, former Justice Minister of Iceland and Honorary Associate of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Julie Ward, UK MEP until January 2020, Shavanah Taj, Leader of the Trade Union Congress in Wales, Felix Padel, sociologist and anthropologist, affiliate of Oxford University, and Melanie Gingell, Barrister, Associate Tenant Doughty Street Chambers, London. It held a series of meetings in Ankara with Ms Pervin Buldan Co-Chair of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and Hişyar Özsoy Deputy Co-Chair of HDP, Leaders of the Human Rights Association of Turkey, Liberationist Lawyers Association, the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, and the Confederal Trade Union of Public Workers. In İstanbul they met with lawyers from Asrın Law Office on 15th February, the 21st Anniversary of the kidnapping of Mr Öcalan in Kenya. They then met Eren Keskin, leading Human Rights Lawyer with representatives of the Saturday Mothers. Continue reading “Report of 2020 International Peace Delegation to İmrali”