TJK-E activists take over Strasbourg vigil for freedom for Öcalan

The ten-year-long vigil for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan in Strasbourg is being organised this week by activists of the Kurdish Women's Movement in Europe.

Since 25 June 2012, there has been a permanent vigil for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan in front of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, which is taken over by different groups from all over Europe for one week at a time. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary, internationalists took over the action, to be replaced by activists from the Kurdish Women's Movement in Europe (TJK-E) this week.

The four members of the group are Sadiye Karataş, Xanım Ateş, Fahriye Engin and Fatma Yali. Sadiye Karataş stated on behalf of the group that the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan from the outside world is not only against human rights, but is of crucial political importance. Since March last year, there has been no sign of life from the prison island of Imrali, where Öcalan has been held since 1999. "We have not heard from him for a long time. We will continue this vigil," said Sadiye Karataş and stressed Öcalan's freedom is directly linked to the freedom of women and the Kurdish people.

The vigil in Strasbourg is held daily between 7.30 am and 4.30 pm. The activists inform about the illegal prison conditions of Abdullah Öcalan and his ideas of a grassroots democratic, gender-just and ecological society. The activists urge European states not to sacrifice democracy and human rights to their political and economic interests at the expense of the Kurds.