The following is a statement issued by KON-KURD and the Organising Committee for the Long March. To see further updates on Freedom March, which is now nearing its destination in Strasbourg, you can follow their blog.

“The 420 km long march us Kurdish intellectuals living in Europe began on the 1st of February from Geneva under the demand of “Political status for Kurdistan and freedom for Abdullah Ocalan” is continuing despite the worst winter for 25 years.

We, Kurdish politicians, artists, journalists and Members of Parliament began our march on the 1st of February in Geneva and are heading towards Strasbourg. We are continuing to Strasbourg having passed through Geneva, Lausanne, Bern, Langenthal, Olten, Liestal and Basel.

Our main aim during this march is to raise awareness about the Kurdish question. We object to the isolation that the Kurdish people’s leader Mr. Abdullah Ocalan is being put through and demand for political status for the Kurdish people.

We are appealing to all our European friends to support us during our march through hills and rough roads in temperatures of -15 degrees.

We believe that the European public need to be better informed of the Kurdish people’s desire to find a democratic solution to the Kurdish question. We ask of you to be in solidarity with our march by releasing statements of support on behalf of your organisation, party or group. We believe that a well informed global public domain will hinder the breakout of war. An awareness of the anti-democratic and unlawful measures taken against the Kurdish people seems to be a prerequisite of a peaceful solution. The leader of the Kurdish people – who are still without status themselves – Mr. Abdullah Ocalan has been in isolation in Imrali Prison for 13 years. Whereas Mr. Ocalan constantly reiterates his desire to solve the Kurdish question through peaceful means. We believe he has a key role to play in the solution. Ocalan’s role in free circumstances can potentially play a big part in the democratic future of our peoples. Despite this obvious truth, the Turkish state, let alone giving Mr. Ocalan the opportunity to take part in the solution, is actually deepening the seclusion and systematically applying the isolation. It is a shame that that the CPT is acknowledging this treatment by keeping silent.

It is for the reasons stated above that we are calling on your support for our march in these freezing conditions.

The unity and solidarity of the forces of democracy will ensure a peaceful and democratic future.

We thank you in advance for your support.

Regards,

Organising Committee of the Long March

The Association of Kurdish Organisation in Europe KON-KURD

Adress: 41 Rue Jean Stas 1060  Bruxelles/Belgium, Tel: +32 2 647 99 53,  BE58 001162523879 kod. GEBABEBB     Fortisbank Bruxelles Konto Nr: 001-1625238-73,  E-mail: [email protected],  web: www.kon-kurd.org

The Kurdish Council Of Kurdish Associations:

FEY-KOM Austria, YEK-KOM Germany, FEK-BEL Belgium, FEY-KURD Denmark FEYKA-KURDİSTAN France, FED-KOM Netherlands, FED-BIR Britain  FEKAR-KURDISTAN Switzerland, Kurdiska Rådet Sweden