Sit-in protest in front of the Council of Europe continues

The four-day sit-in action in front of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg continued on its third day.

Following the call of the KCDK-E (Kurdish Democratic Societies Congress in Europe), Kurds and their friends launched a four-day sit-in action in front of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on Monday to denounce the international conspiracy and to demand freedom for Abdullah Öcalan.

Representatives of several institutions and organisations, as well as politicians and artists partake in the action, which is led by a different group every day. Each group submits a dossier to the Council of Europe to detail the goal and demands of the action; an end to the isolation of Öcalan, freedom and “right to hope” for Abdullah Öcalan, an end to the increasing atrocities in prisons and repression against the HDP, and the release of sick prisoners behind bars in Turkey.

The action was taken over on Wednesday by a new group that included representatives of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK), Kurdistan Islamic Society (CIK), Federation of Alevi Associations, Yazidi institutions and the Kurdish Cultural Movement in Europe (TEV-ÇAND).

Speaking for TEV-ÇAND, Hozan Şemdin said, “The Kurdish people have been reiterating their call for freedom for Öcalan in front of European bodies for years. Their call, however, has been paid no attention to by the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) for years. We hope that these latest actions and initiatives will finally force European authorities to finally do their duty."

Speaking in the name of the Kurdistan Islamic Society (CIK), Mela Mihyedîn called on the Kurdish people to unite and urged European countries to either do their duties or to rule out the word of democracy.

PYD member Dexil Silêman condemned the 9 October conspiracy, which marks the beginning of the international plot that led to the abduction and imprisonment of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan in 1999. 

“The imprisonment of Leader Öcalan is tantamount to the imprisonment of the Kurdish people. We have seen, in the person of Öcalan, what your democracy is. Öcalan is not just a personality, but an idea spreading all over the world. Do you not see the Turkish massacres in Shengal and Maxmur? We are here to denounce them,” he added.

Speaking after, FEDA Co-chair Demir Çelik said, “Kurds and Kurdistan have been held in isolation at Imrali for 24 years, and Europe has turned a blind eye and a deaf ear. We do not accept it. As Alevis, we say that 72 nations are one and an equitable life is a right of ours, too. The Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan’s freedom will pave the way not only for the Kurds but for all the peoples of the world.”