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.
Celebrating 27 November 1978
For the Kurdish people, today is the 41st anniversary of the founding of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). It was a landmark in Kurdish history because this was the first time there appeared a modern, secular movement for Kurdish freedom uniting the Kurdish workers in political struggle.
PEACE IN KURDISTAN
Statement, 15 August 2019
For Kurdish people the 15 August is celebrated as the Day of Resurgence and Resistance. On 15 August 1984, Liberation Units of Kurdistan, led by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), with its guerrilla commander Mahsum Korkmaz, launched the armed struggle for freedom. This was six years after the founding of the PKK.
In the circumstances there was no option for the PKK but to resort to armed struggle if any manifestation of the Kurdish desire for identity and recognition was to be maintained and fulfilled. On 12 September 1980, the Turkish armed forces, led by General Kenan Evren, seized power in Turkey in a military coup. One of the chief aims of the coup was to crush the Kurdish movement. The constitution was suspended, parliament was abolished, all political parties and trade unions were banned and martial law was imposed throughout Turkey. Hundreds of thousands of people were tortured, thousands disappeared, up to 650,000 people were arrested, films were banned, journalists imprisoned and killed and newspapers prevented from publishing. Many death sentences were passed; the PKK had 122 death sentences passed against its members. The PKK withdrew some of its members from Turkey to Lebanon and Syria and began political and military preparations, which culminated in the 15 August actions. Kurdish resistance has gathered and spread since. Continue reading “CELEBRATING 15 AUGUST 1984”
Public Forum: Time to De-list the PKK: Respect International Law!
The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is not a terrorist organisation, according to the March 2019 decision by Belgium’s Court of Appeal, applying principles of international law. How can we use this decision to strengthen the legal and political means of the international campaign to de-list the PKK?
The event is hosted by Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC), Peace in Kurdistan, London Kurdish Solidarity (LKS), Democratic Kurdish Peoples Assembly UK
Thursday, 20 June 2019, 6 – 8pm at Diskus Room, UNITE Head office, 128 Theobald Road, WC1X 8TN (5 min from Holborn station) Please arrive on time as the building closes at 8pm!! Continue reading “Public Forum Time to De-list the PKK: Respect International Law!”
Unofficial translation of a judgement given by the Court of Appeal of Brussels on 8 March 2019 deciding that the PKK was a party in a non-international armed conflict with the Turkish State and that therefor international humanitarian law applied and not the terrorism provisions of the Belgian Criminal Code
1. This Judgement was translated by the Defendants in the case to the best of their abilities and is therefore not an official translation of the Dutch text of the judgment. The full original Dutch text can be obtained on simple request by contacting [email protected]
2. The judgment is not final on 7 April 2019 as the Federal Prosecutor has appealed the decision before the Court of Cassation.
For more information:
Please see here a summary of the decision. It is followed by a rough translation of the full Judgement.
On 8 March 2019, the Indictment Chambers of the Court of Appeal of Brussels Belgium took a decision dismissing the case and ending all further prosecution against 40 persons and 2 companies for being agents of PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party.
The decision comes to the same conclusion as the earlier decision of the same court pronounced on 14 September 2017, subsequently quashed on some deficiencies in the statement of reasons by the Court of Cassation on 13 February 2018, namely that the conflict between PKK and the Turkish state is an non-international armed conflict as defined by international law and ruled by the laws of war (international humanitarian law), not by anti-terrorism laws.  Continue reading “Decisions of the Court of Appeal (Indictment Chambers) of Brussels (Belgium) 14 September 2017 and 8 March 2019 in the case against alleged PKK leaders and members.”
The World Today’s Tariq Ali speaks with Giran Ozcan, of the Kurdistan National Congress, about the current situation in Turkey. They discuss how the failure of Erdogan’s AK party to secure a majority at the last elections has led so some of the worst violence inflicted upon its own people for a long time.