Week 373 of the Freedom for Öcalan Vigil in Strasbourg
The Freedom for Öcalan Vigil, the longest protest organised by Kurds in Europe, has been taken over by a new group of activists on 373.
Launched in front of the Council of Europe in 2012 and carried out uninterruptedly to today, the Freedom for Öcalan Vigil is held seven days a week from morning to evening every day for the past seven years. Activists inform passersby about the hunger strike resistance, Kurdish people’s leader Öcalan and the Vigil itself.
The Vigil has been taken over this week by a new group of Kurdish activists coming from the German city of Giessen.
Speaking on behalf of the new group, Barış Aydoğan remarked that the only dream of the Kurdish people was the freedom of their leader.
Aydoğan said the Kurdish people were out of patience due to the captivity of Öcalan, adding; “The Kurdish people have no tolerance left on the captivity of their leader. They shouldn’t test us with that.”
Aydoğan urged the Council of Europe and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) to respect human dignity before anything else. He also called on the world countries not to make peoples a tool for their hypocrite policies.
The Freedom for Öcalan Vigil started on June 25, 2012 to call for an end to the aggravated isolation imposed upon Öcalan and to raise awareness for his freedom. Before the vigil, a Long March was held from Geneva to Strasbourg in February 2012 and a hunger strike of 52 days was held during the months of March and April. Representatives from various institutions in Europe and politicians had participated in the hunger strike.
The Freedom for Öcalan Vigil was launched after these demonstrations, and in the seven years since, hundreds of thousands of flyers, brochures and booklets have been handed out and Öcalan’s ideas have been communicated to people from dozens of countries throughout the world.
More than two thousand activists have taken over the vigil up to date. Artists, politicians, journalists and European allies have taken part in person.