Emergency press conference on Abdullah Öcalan in Strasbourg

An emergency press conference on Abdullah Öcalan will be held in Strasbourg on 25 June, the 12th anniversary of the Freedom for Öcalan Vigil and the Parliamentary Assembly session.

The Freedom for Öcalan Vigil in Strasbourg will mark its 12th anniversary on 25 June with an emergency press conference on Abdullah Öcalan.

The press conference is promoted by the international campaign Freedom for Öcalan, a political solution to the Kurdish question

As well as several members of the Parliamentary Assembly (which will meet on 25 June), the press conference will be attended by: Madeleine Mawamba and Elizabeth Ngari (Women in Exile), Barbara Pade-Theisen (Dr for General and Social Medicine, HAGIA certification), Nerea Ahedo Ceza (EAJ/PNV, Basque-Senate of Spain), Remy Pagani (Former mayor of Geneva) and Rudolf Bürgel (Präsidum Landesausschuss Die Linke, B-Württemberg-Germany).

The press conference will be held across the road from the Council entrance at 11am.

The call reminding the Council (CoE) of its duties towards Öcalan is becoming louder and even more urgent.  It is now well over three years since he had any contact with the world outside his prison, apart from one visit from the Council’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) in September 2022, about which no information has been made public.

The vigil is a protest against Öcalan’s illegal and inhumane isolation by the Turkish Government on Imrali Island Prison. This press conference will serve as a further reminder to the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights, and the CPT. These institutions should be directly involved in stopping Öcalan’s isolation, because Turkey is a Council of Europe member state. The CPT, which has the ability to visit Imrali Island Prison at any time, has been particularly derelict in their duty - which is why many organisations, and coalitions of activists, lawyers, intellectuals, and academics have written letters asking them to visit Öcalan and to check on his wellbeing after 25 years of torturous prison isolation.

When European institutions fail to act, they become complicit in the infringement and abuse of basic human rights.

Öcalan continues to inspire millions of Kurds and many others around the world with his Democratic Confederalist philosophy of human liberation, women’s liberation, social ecology, and protection of ethnic minorities. Every year, thousands of people from all walks of life come together in Strasbourg to march, rally, and demand an end to his torturous solitary confinement.