Renas Lelikan judgement gives background to freedom struggle

6882556-3x2-700x467Justice Lucy McCallum’s judgement in the Renas Lelikan case makes very interesting reading. Lelikan admitted to informal PKK membership but stated that his role was that of a journalist reporting on the Kurdish freedom fighters. McCallum freed him with a community service order. The prosecution has appealed seeking a custodial sentence to deter anyone from supporting PKK. For more background see below.

Call for Australia to support an end to Kurdish leader’s isolation

leylguvs[The following is the text of a letter submitted to the Melbourne Age. It was not published.] Kurdish MP Leyla Güven has now spent 90 days on hunger strike, calling for an end to the total isolation of imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan.  Despite being released from prison by a recent court order, Güven’s hunger strike continues.  Over 300 Kurdish political prisoners – including MPs, journalists and academics – are following her example, at various stages of indefinite hunger strikes. Continue reading

PKK ban: Submissions to PJCIS

Three submissions were made in August-September to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) calling for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to be de-listed as a terrorist organisation.

  • Australians for Kurdistan‘s submission is posted below.
  • The law firm Stary Norton Halphen (associated with the well-known Melbourne criminal lawyer Rob Stary) made a submission on behalf of the Democratic Kurdish Community Centre of NSW and the Kurdish Democratic Community Centre of Victoria.
  • Dr Vicki Sentas, a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Law at the University of NSW in Sydney also made a submission.

In the event the PKK was retained on the list of terrorist organisations. The government’s extremely flimsy and unconvincing rationale can be found here.

Submission: Why the PKK should be de-listed as a terrorist organisation

[The following submission was made by Australians for Kurdistan to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security on August 31, 2018 for de-listing the Kurdistan Workers Party as a terrorist organisation under the Criminal Code Act 1995]

1. Australians for Kurdistan
Australians for Kurdistan (AFK) is an unincorporated solidarity group of non-Kurdish Australians drawn from all walks of life who come together to support the Kurdish liberation struggle in Australia. AFK liaises closely with members of the Kurdish community and is responsible for organising and undertaking a range of activities including public meetings and conferences; the preparation and distribution of written materials such as information brochures and longer publications; contributions to the media on relevant matters; and engagement with elected representatives and others in the Australian political system. Continue reading

‘PKK will pay the price, but will never surrender’

[The following article is from ANF News. The Turkish regime is threatening to once more make a major military incursion into northern Iraq with the aim of crushing the PKK forces based in the Qandil mountains. Karasu refers to the 1995 Turkish Steel Operation in which 35,000 Turkish troops attacked PKK positions across the border.]

KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council Member Mustafa Karasu stated that they are prepared for any and all attacks the AKP-MHP fascism has in store for Bashure (Southern) Kurdistan and added: “Like they barely escaped in the Zap and Çelik operations, they will certainly face the same fate in any invasion operations against Southern Kurdistan and Qandil.” Karasu stressed: “Not the Turkish state, nor any other colonialist can ever break the will for resistance in the PKK.” Continue reading

Greens leader speaks out for Kurdish rights

di-natale[By Dave Holmes] Greens leader Senator Richard Di Natale expressed his strong support for the embattled Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey. The left-wing party has a strong base among the country’s oppressed Kurdish community.  Speaking at a November 17 Kurdish solidarity meeting at Melbourne’s Trades Hall, Dr Di Natale condemned the current crackdown by the regime of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The HDP’s joint leaders, Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yüksekdag, have been arrested along with a number of the party’s other MPs. Continue reading

Public meeting to call for dropping of Lelikan charges

The Australian government’s prosecution of Kurdish-Australian journalist Renas Lelikan will be the focus of a public meeting to be held at Melbourne’s Trades Hall on November 17. The meeting will also call for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to be removed from the government’s list of terrorist organisations. Imposed in 2004, the ban has been kept by successive Coalition and Labor governments to curry favour with the Turkish regime. Today Turkey’s Erdogan regime is waging a brutal war against its Kurdish minority and the Kurdish-led liberation forces in northern Syria.

The gathering is being organised by Australians for Kurdistan and the Kurdish Democratic Community Centre. Speakers so far confirmed include civil liberties lawyers Jessie Smith and Rob Stary.

Thursday, November 17, 6:30pm. New Council Chambers, Trades Hall, cnr Lygon & Victoria Sts, Carlton South. Entry $5/$3. For more information email Australians for Kurdistan.

Renas Lelikan supported at bail hearing

outside-court
[By John Tully] The second bail hearing for Kurdish journalist Renas Lelikan was held in Sydney on October 6. NSW Supreme Court Judge Natalie Adams reserved her decision on his appeal until October 14. Lelikan, who is charged with membership of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has been remanded in custody since July 20. Continue reading