Abdullah Öcalan’s birthday celebrated in Nairobi

Kurds and their friends are celebrating the 73rd birthday of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan who has been held in aggravated isolation in Imrali Island Prison in Turkey since his capture in an international conspiracy in 1999.

A group of activists celebrated the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan’s birthday in Kenya’s capital and largest city, Nairobi, where Öcalan was taken captive as a result of an international conspiracy in February 1999 before being deported to Turkey.

The activists planted saplings and painted a mural demanding freedom for Öcalan to celebrate the Kurdish leader’s 73rd birthday on April 4.

Thomas Jeffrey Miley, lecturer in Political Sociology, University of Cambridge, who is in Kenya on a research mission, was among the representatives of the Grassroots Liberation movement that sent a birthday message to Abdullah Öcalan from Kenya.

“This day gained meaning with Abdullah Öcalan. A statist administration cannot be a democratic one. Democracy, in essence, is the people’s power to govern themselves,” Dr. Thomas Jeff Miley said in his message.

Grassroots Liberation Spokesperson Gacheke Gachihi, a human rights activist and community organizer in Kenya, said “Freedom for Öcalan right now. Peace and unity right now, as we declare in Africa and Kenya as well.”


The Grassroots Liberation Project is born of a commitment to social justice through documenting of the social and ecological movement’s struggles. It seeks to empower community activists in the ghettos of Nairobi in their valiant fight against the many gross human rights violations being perpetrated by the postcolonial state and the brutal, extractive model of capitalist development it is imposing. The Project aims to embody and advance an ethos of true international solidarity, to struggle with and alongside affected communities, to help them empower themselves, and in so doing to transcend – indeed, to burst asunder – the narrow confines and neo-colonial dialectic of charity and dependence.

The Project was co-founded by Estella Schmid from England, a founding member of the ‘Peace in Kurdistan’ (PIK) campaign. It serves as a bridge between Kenya and Europe and the Kurdish movement.