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The struggle against isolation continues as the hunger strike ends

The struggle against isolation continues as the hunger strike ends

The historic hunger strike by Kurdish politicians and activists around the world has ended on its 200th day at the request of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan, in a statement presented by the Asrin Law Office, after their second visit with Mr Öcalan in eight years. Resistance has prevailed Leyla Güven, Democratic Society Congress (DTK) Co-chair and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP for Hakkari, who began the strike in November 2018 as part of the struggle against isolation was joined by over 7,000 activists worldwide. Ending her hunger strike after 200 days and shortly before being rushed to a nearby hospital for…
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The legal team and campaigners ask – Is the isolation of Öcalan over?

The legal team and campaigners ask – Is the isolation of Öcalan over?

Is the isolation of Öcalan over? The Minister of Justice of Turkey, Abdulhamit Gül made a statement on the 16th of May 2019, declaring that the ban on lawyers being allowed to visit with their client Mr Abdullah Öcalan had been lifted after a one hour visit was allowed to go ahead on the 2nd of May. However as of the time of writing we have had no confirmation of Turkish courts authorising further access for either Mr Öcalan’s legal team or family despite further applications being made. An expression of what needs to be done Following the declaration of…
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2019 International Peace Delegation to İmralı meets with Council of Europe

2019 International Peace Delegation to İmralı meets with Council of Europe

On Tuesday, 07 May 2019, representatives of the 2019 International Peace Delegation to İmralı travelled to Strasbourg, France to meet with representatives of the office of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland and the Executive Secretariat of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT). Representing the 2019 International Peace delegation to İmralı were Ögmundur Jónasson, former Minister of Justice of Iceland, and Connor Hayes, a student of Philosophy. International Peace Delegation to Imrali Earlier this year, from 11-16 February 2019, the 2019 International Peace Delegation to İmralı travelled to Turkey and the Turkish region of…
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Freedom for Ocalan campaign reiterates call for the release of Abdullah Ocalan

Freedom for Ocalan campaign reiterates call for the release of Abdullah Ocalan

The co-chairs of the Freedom for Ocalan campaign, Christine Blower of NEU and Simon Dubbins of Unite, have issued the following statement on this week's events and restated the call for the release of Mr Ocalan. This has been a vitally important week for the campaign to release Abdullah Ocalan. For the first time in 8 years, Mr Ocalan has finally been able to meet with representatives of his legal team and to issue a short public statement. Although this development is highly significant, and we hope will be followed by further regular visits and meetings, it remains an appalling…
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Ocalan’s lawyer’s host press conference after first visit in eight years

Ocalan’s lawyer’s host press conference after first visit in eight years

Abdullah Ocalan's lawyer's hosted a shock press conference today in Istanbul after two of his four-man team were allowed to spend an hour with Mr Ocalan at Imrali prison on the 2nd of May 2019. He has been kept in extreme isolation at Imrali Island Prison for twenty years, ever since his abduction in Kenya outside the Greek embassy in 1999. Öcalan is denied access to newspaper and TV news. It is as yet unclear if this is a temporary reaction to the ongoing hunger strikes worldwide that had reached a deadly phase or if this represents a broader thawing…
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STUC supports Öcalan and Scottish Kurdish community – what next?

STUC supports Öcalan and Scottish Kurdish community – what next?

The recent conference of the Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) gave support to the Kurdish community living in Scotland and offered solidarity to the hunger strikers demanding an end to the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan by the Turkish authorities. Motions of solidarity with the Scottish Kurdish community The first dealt with the concerns of the Scottish Kurdish community after a number of police raids on family homes under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. These raids over the past 3 years, supposedly seeking evidence of support for the PKK, have led to some members of the local community being less ready…
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Welsh-Kurdish hunger striker in critical condition

Welsh-Kurdish hunger striker in critical condition

Plaid Cymru call for UK Government intervention as Welsh-Kurdish hunger striker Imam Sis from Newport in ‘critical condition’ Plaid Cymru have called on the UK Government to intervene ‘with urgency’  following the sudden deterioration of the Kurdish Welshman Imam Sis from Newport who has been on an indefinite hunger strike since 17 December.  End the isolation The hunger strikes, triggered by Leyla Güven, a democratically elected Kurdish MP to the Turkish parliament and who has now been on hunger strike for over 176 days, are calling for an end to the isolation of jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan. The leader of…
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Imrali narrated by Maxine Peake

Imrali narrated by Maxine Peake

On the eve of the release of the short film and documentary “Imrali” narrated by Maxine Peake, The Freedom for Ocalan campaign had the opportunity to speak with one of the filmmakers, Jon Spaull about his experiences making this important film. Jon Spaull was invited to produce the film together with the writer and long-time international election observer John Hunt. Jon has been a filmmaker and photographer for 20 years his work has appeared in film, television, international film festivals and the web. He’s worked in 50 countries with NGO’s, Trade Unions and TV Channels in Ghana and South Africa…
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STUC condemns harassment of Kurdish community

STUC condemns harassment of Kurdish community

The 122nd annual Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC), which ran from 15-17 April 2019 and represents 37 trade unions and more than 540,000 people across Scotland discussed a motion on the alleged police harassment of the Kurdish community in Scotland. “Stop criminalising the Kurdish community” The motion condemns raids conducted on the homes of members of the Kurdish community in Scotland and the Kurdish community centre in Edinburgh by Police Scotland. Periodic early-morning raids on members of the Kurdish community have been conducted by Police Scotland since 2016, where badges, flags, and scarves featuring the Kurdish colours red, green, and…
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Scottish trade unions add their voice to Kurdish solidarity

Scottish trade unions add their voice to Kurdish solidarity

Momentum is building in the trade union movement as the Scottish Trade Unions Councils 122nd annual congress agrees on a motion of solidarity with the Kurdish hunger strikers and their demands for the release of Abdullah Öcalan. Scottish trade unions support Imam In her opening remarks to the conference, President of the STUC Lynne Henderson called for support for Imam Sis and his demand for the release of Abdullah Öcalan. Newport resident and lifelong campaigner against racism, Imam is one of the thousands of hunger strikers taking extraordinary measures to demand that Turkey obey its own and international law and…
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