Connor Hayes speaks with Jan Fermon, lead solicitor in the case in which the Belgium Court of Cassation ruled the PKK is not a terrorist organisation, about the implications of the Belgian court ruling, the PKKs broader struggle for decriminalisation, and the future of resistance in the war on terror era.
On March 8, proceedings ended before the Court of Last Resort in Brussels whose result is of great importance well beyond the borders of Belgium, particularly with regard to international law.
A look back: In 2010, a large squad of police was used to search legal Kurdish organizations and production sites of Kurdish television in Belgium and to arrest several representatives of the Kurdish National Congress (KNC). The investigations led to the levelling of charges by the prosecution against some 40 persons who were accused of collecting donations, propaganda, and recruitment for the PKK. In a second case, a Syrian Kurd was charged with having exported communication equipment to Erbil in Northern Iraq, equipment that the prosecution claimed was transferred further to the Kurdish HPG guerrilla. Continue reading “Court of Last Resort in Brussels: Belgian Anti-Terror Law Not Applicable in PKK Proceedings PKK Is Party to a Conflict According to International Law”
PEACE IN KURDISTAN
Peace in Kurdistan declares its solidarity with the Kurdish people on the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Over the past four decades the party has totally transformed the political landscape of Kurdistan and the Middle East region. The Kurds are now a political force that cannot be ignored. This is true in Turkey, in Rojava and everywhere where the Kurds exist.
Mahmut Şakar, Co-Chairman of MAF-DAD e.V., in an interview with Civaka Azad on the decision of the EU Court in Luxembourg
The European Union Court of Justice ruled on Thursday that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was wrongly on the list of terrorist organisations between 2014 and 2017. The court in Luxembourg declared the underlying decisions of the EU states null and void due to procedural errors. How do you assess this decision and the reasons for it?
I consider the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union announced on 15 November 2018 to be extremely important and historic. Continue reading “The European Union Court of Justice rules that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was wrongly on the list of terrorist organisations. Interview with Civaka Azad.”
It is time for analyses and discussions to fight for an end to the ban.
This November marks the 25th anniversary of the ban of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) initiated in 1993 by Chancellor Dr. Manfred Kanther. Since then thousands of criminal procedures have been taken against Kurdish activists and supportive left activists, who publicly displayed the allegedly forbidden PKK symbols. Due to the Vereinigungsdelikte (Association Offences) of the criminal law paragraph 129, 129a and 129b (membership in a criminal/terrorist organisation), we have seen hundreds of indictments, arrests and sentences of people who did nothing more than engage in a political struggle for the Kurdish Freedom Movement. Continue reading “A Conference marking 25 years of PKK ban, 20 October, Berlin.”
Belgium Court of Appeal sets an important precedent
The PKK is ‘party to an armed conflict’ and so is not a ‘terrorist organisation’
De-list the PKK
Organised by CAMPACC, Peace in Kurdistan and The Centre for Kurdish Progress
Monday 20 November, 7 – 9pm, Committee Room 4, Houses of Lords, Westminster
This event will be kindly hosted by Lord Glasman and chaired by Melanie Gingell barrister and associate tenant at Doughty Street Chambers
Speakers include Jan Fermon, Belgium lawyer and Acting Secretary General of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers; Alastair Lyon, BirnbergPeirce Solicitors and Les Levidow, Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC).
For more than two decades, Western governments have been persecuting Kurdish communities, attempting to silence their support for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Key instruments in this persecution have been anti-terror powers which authorise various executive punishments without trial, as well as prosecution for vague crimes of association. This legislative ban on the PKK operates at both national and international levels, e.g. the EU and UN. Continue reading “Public Forum: The PKK is not a terrorist organisation. Analysis of the Belgian Court Decision.”
PEACE IN KURDISTAN
In a significant ruling made on 14 September 2017, the Belgium Court of Appeal ruled that the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) is not a terrorist organisation as defined by Belgian law. Rather, the PKK is ‘a party to an armed conflict as defined by and subject to international humanitarian law’. The government of the United Kingdom classified the PKK as terrorists in 2001 and the European Union did so the following year. It is testimony to the determination of the Kurds to fight for justice and the legitimacy of their cause that the Belgium Court of Appeal has now reversed the previous definition. It is to be hoped that the Belgium Court’s decision will set a precedent that other judicial bodies will follow. Continue reading “Belgium’s Court of Appeal rules that the PKK is not a terrorist organisation”