Activists on vigil in Geneva condemn attacks against Kurds

During the action organised in Geneva for more than three years to demand the freedom of Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan, activists condemned the police operation against Kurdish TV studios in Belgium and Kurdish association in France.

A vigil by the Democratic Kurdish Community in Switzerland has been taking place in front of the UN headquarters in Geneva since 25 January 2021. Every Wednesday, activists stage a protest in front of the United Nations building to demand the release of Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan. The action is carried out as part of the 'Dem dema azadiye' [Time for Freedom] campaign and directed against the isolation of the Kurdish leader on the Turkish prison island of Imrali, the Turkish occupation attacks on Kurdistan, the massacres committed in Kurdish territories and the silence of the UN.

This week's demonstration, which is held at a tent set up in Nation Square where the UN Office is located, started with a minute of silence in memory of the Kurdistan Freedom Martyrs, after which Rıza Çetinkaya, member of the Action Committee, made a speech on behalf of the demonstrators.

Emphasising the importance of the protests to demand the physical freedom of Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan, Çetinkaya evaluated the visit of Turkish President Erdoğan to Southern Kurdistan, the Turkish attacks on guerrilla areas, the raids on Medya Haber and Stêrk TV in Belgium and the detention of Kurdish journalists in Turkey. Çetinkaya stated that all attacks are interconnected, vowing to put up total resistance in response.

Manon Crettenand, representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party (Parti Communiste Rèvolutionnaire, PCR) of Switzerland, read the press statement in French.

"No to the joint operations of France, Belgium, Germany and Turkey to destroy the Kurdish people", Manon Crettenand said: "In addition to Turkey's oppression of the Kurdish people, the basic human rights of the Kurdish people are violated in European countries such as France, Belgium and Germany. There are similarities in these policies. In parallel with the new extermination operations launched by the Turkish state in Southern Kurdistan as part of its strategy to completely exterminate the Kurds, we are witnessing an increase in attacks against the defenders of legal and democratic rights. The Turkish state disregards the laws of war and human rights in its attacks on Rojava and Southern Kurdistan. It is bombing Kurdistan's geography, villages and civilian settlements, using chemical weapons prohibited by international law. Attacks against legal and democratic Kurdish institutions and organisations are increasing in coordination. Human rights and democratic organisations must take a stand against states like France and Belgium, which present themselves as democratic countries."

After the statement, the sit-in continued.