I wish to begin by acknowledging that we are rallying on Aboriginal land and pay my respects to the elders past and present, as well as emerging leaders. I bring you greetings of solidarity from the National Tertiary Education Union who are unwavering in our support for academic freedom and freedom of speech and political opinion. Continue reading
[By John Tully] On July 20 this year, Kurdish-Australian journalist Renas Lelikan was charged with membership of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the PKK. He was refused bail and has since been detained in Sydney’s Silverwater Prison. He returned to Australia last October after spending nine months trapped in the Makhmur refugee camp in Iraq after being denied a passport by the Australian government. If he is found guilty, he faces a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment. Continue reading
[By Dave Holmes] An August 11 meeting at the Melbourne Trades Hall heard a truly inspiring report on the rebuilding of Kobanê and the progress and problems of the Rojava Revolution. Hawzhin Azeez, a former University of Newcastle academic and now a central figure on the Kobanê Reconstruction Board, spoke for almost an hour outlining the significance of Kobanê to the Kurdish freedom struggle and the importance of the rebuilding effort. Continue reading
[By Peter Boyle] July 28 — A bail hearing in Sydney Central Local Court today opened an extraordinary and an important political trial. Kurdish journalist Renas Lelikan, 38, who spent the last five years reporting from the war-ravaged Iraqi Kurdistan, silently watched the proceeding via video link from the high security section of Silverwater jail while the prosecution opposed bail. He was arrested on July 20 and charged with being a member of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is on the Australian government’s list of proscribed “terrorist organisations”. Continue reading
[The following appeal is being circulated to Australian academics by John Tully, Honorary Professor at Victoria University, and Australians for Kurdistan. See below for information on how to endorse. Please circulate to your colleagues.]
As scholars associated with universities and higher education institutions in Australia, we are extremely disturbed by Turkey’s recent treatment of academics who have spoken out against atrocities being committed by the Turkish state against Kurdish civilians in the eastern parts of the country. Continue reading
[The following statement was released by the Kurdish National Congress (KNK) Australia on January 8, 2016.]
After the June 7, 2015 elections in Turkey, in which 80 representatives of the pro-Kurdish HDP won seats in parliament, President Erdogan launched a war against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) for political gain. The war involves the collective punishment of Kurdish civilians. Since August, 127 security zones and 52 curfews have been imposed on Kurdish towns. In these urban centres, the Turkish state has employed tanks, rockets and sniper fire to kill 260 civilians, including women and children. Continue reading
[By John Tully] Behrouz Boochani is a Kurdish writer and cultural and human rights activist from Ilam in Iran. In early 2013, the regime’s “Revolutionary Guards” raided the premises of the Kurdish magazine Werya and arrested 11 of Behrouz’s colleagues. Behrouz’s passion has been the survival of the Kurdish language and culture in the hostile Iranian state. Behrouz fled certain arrest and made his way across the ocean to seek asylum in Australia. Continue reading
[By John Tully] Children are always the worst hit in any war and the suffering of the children of Rojava has been immense. The victory at Kobanê was a victory for all humanity and with that in mind progressive people of the world have a duty to help provide for the future of those children. Australians for Kurdistan is proud to work with our Kurdish brothers and sisters in the School for the Children of Martyrs project in Kobanê. Continue reading
Tens of thousands of people rallied around the world on November 1 to demand greater international support for Kurds battling the ‘Islamic State’ in Syria.
Last year on the same date, hundreds of rallies, demonstrations and actions took place across dozens of countries to show support for Kobanê and its people at a time when major players in the region, including Turkey and Iraq, were doing little to help its people cope with the Islamic State siege. Continue reading
[The following is the text of a leaflet distributed at a rally for refugees in Melbourne on October 11.]
War and repression in the Middle East has forced millions to seek refuge, whether in neighbouring countries or further afield in Europe or even Australia.
Living mainly in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, the Kurdish people suffer in all four countries. Continue reading