The International Initiative has invited the press and public to a press conference in Brussels this Thursday, for the launch of a new international campaign, ‘Freedom for Abdullah Ocalan’. The campaign already has a list of over 1000 first signatories, and will be the latest significant international coordinated effort to put pressure on the Turkish government to finally stop isolating Ocalan from the people and negotiate a peace settlement with the only legitimate representative that can do so.

The press conference will take place on Thursday 6th September 2012 at 10.30am, in the Résidence Palace and the International Press Centre (IPC), Rue de la Loi, 155 – Bloc C, 1040 Bruxelles.

A statement by the International Initiative says:

“Already over a thousand notable people worldwide have signed an international petition with the demand: Freedom for Abdullah Ocalan and the political prisoners in Turkey. They are of the opinion that Ocalan’s freedom would mean a breakthrough in Turkey’s democratization and a peace process in Kurdistan.

The Kurdish question is more relevant today than ever before. It affects Iraq, Iran, Syria and especially Turkey, and represents the biggest – and still unresolved – problem in the Middle East. The conflict between the Turkish State and the Kurdish freedom movement still continues.

Although it is more than clear that the demands of the Kurdish people for their cultural and political rights are no longer going to be resolved by a military solution, the bloody conflict continues because the necessary steps towards a peaceful resolution have not been taken.

At the press conference, the first signatories will speak about both the motive behind the campaign and the importance of Abdullah Ocalan’s release from prison in the broader quest for a resolution to the Kurdish question. It is only through genuine bilateral negotiations with the legitimate political representative of the Kurdish people that lasting peace can be secured.

The following persons will be attending:

•Ayla Akat, Member of Parliament, Women’s Initiative “Freedom for Öcalan”, Turkey
•Andrej Hunko, Member of Parliament, Member of PACE, Germany
•Luisa Morgantini, former Vicepresident of the European Parliament, Italy
•Joe Ryan, Chair of Westminster Justice and Peace, United Kingdom
•N. N., Movement against racism and for friendship between peoples MRAP), France
•Reimar Heider, International Initiative “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan–Peace in Kurdistan”, Germany

All representatives of press are warmly invited to the press conference.”

For further information, contact:

International Initiative
Postbox 10 05 11 • D-50445 Cologne
Tel: +49-221-1 30 15 59 • Fax: +49-221-1 39 30 71 •