Activists demanding Öcalan’s freedom submit dossier to the CPT

Vigil in Strasbourg calls on European institutions to reclaim their own values, saying that Erdogan tramples on European values and disregards decisions of the ECtHR, CPT and CoE.

The "Freedom will prevail, act for Öcalan" action which started in Strasbourg on 1 December continues. On the initiative of the action group "Freedom for Öcalan", new groups are taking over the vigil on the Place de la République every day. After a demonstration by activists of the Kurdish Women's Movement in Europe (TJK-E) on Monday, the action was taken over today by exiled politicians and representatives of the alliance DGB (Union of Democratic Forces).

Former HDP MP Nursel Aydoğan, who is living in exile in Europe due to political persecution, and the HDP representative in the Council of Europe, Fayik Yağızay, handed over an information dossier on the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan and the situation of political prisoners in Turkey, which is characterised by serious violations of the law, to the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) on the fringes of the vigil.

Meanwhile, Kurdish politicians in exile Faysal Sarıyıldız and Selim Sadak, as well as a DGB representative, made statements about their concern at the vigil today. Sarıyıldız, co-spokesperson of the HDP in Germany, stated in his speech that Erdogan and "the war clique within the state" initiated a bloody phase in Northern Kurdistan six years ago. During this time, Kurdish towns were razed to the ground and crimes against humanity were committed, the HDP politician said and continued;

"This phase began with the intensification of the isolation of the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan. Since then, thousands of people have been arrested, numerous institutions have been closed. With our action we demand peace and freedom in Kurdistan. It is well known that Abdullah Öcalan played a leading role in the negotiations at that time. It was a very valuable period in which no blood was shed, and the hope arose that the Kurdish question could finally be resolved in a democratic way. A return to this phase is only possible if Abdullah Öcalan is no longer cut off from the outside world. The Council of Europe also bears responsibility for this, because Turkey is one of its member states. Erdogan is trampling European values underfoot and disregarding rulings and recommendations of the European Court of Human Rights, the CPT and the Council of Europe. With our vigil, we call on these institutions to reclaim their own values."

Recalling that the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers touched upon the situation of Öcalan during its meetings from November 30 to December 2, Sarıyıldız stated that relevant institutions should impose sanctions on Turkey to abandon its genocidal politics and to democratize.

Sarıyıldız called on the Council of Europe to pay attention to Öcalan and stressed that their vigil will continue until Europe puts an end to its opportunist politics that covers for Turkey.