Week 396 in the Freedom for Öcalan Vigil in Strasbourg

The Freedom for Öcalan Vigil in front of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg has been taken over by Kurdish women from Germany.

The Freedom for Öcalan Vigil began in front of the Council of Europe on 25 June 2012. Since then it has been taken over by a different group of activists every week.

On week 396, the vigil has been taken over by a group of women coming from Freiburg city of Germany.

Speaking in the name of the group, Leyla Topaz criticised the silence of the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) in the face of the aggravated isolation imposed on Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan.

Topaz pointed out that the isolation of Öcalan targets all Kurdish people and that the Turkish state’s war against the Kurds has deepened in parallel with the isolation of the Kurdish leader.

Remarking that the Kurdish people and all those seeking democracy should unite around Öcalan, Topaz continued; “If the Kurds and democrats want the democratization of Turkey, they should know that Öcalan must be freed in order for this to be achieved. Everyone sees the atrocities of the Turkish state and the freedom of Öcalan is the only way out.”

Topaz also called on the Kurdish people in diaspora to claim the vigil with further determination.

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.