Justice 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.
Friday, September 13, 6:30pm (for 6:45pm start) ♦ Blue Room, First Floor, Multicultural Hub, 506 Elizabeth St, Melbourne (opposite Victoria Market) ♦ Entry $5/$3 ♦ Organised by Australians for Kurdistan ♦ For more info call 0401 437 828 ♦ Facebook
For seven years the Kurdish-led Rojava Revolution in northern Syria has been a beacon of hope in the Middle East. Its attempt to build a society based on grassroots democracy, feminism and ecology, and inclusive of all ethnic and religious groups has inspired people around the world.
It has survived in the teeth of opposition from the Islamic State barbarians, the Assad dictatorship and the Kurdophobic Turkish regime of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey is now gearing up for a full-scale invasion.
We are screening the new documentary Rojava, northern Syria: The Kurds between conflict and democracy. This will be followed by a short talk on the situation and a discussion of solidarity work.
[Photo: Kobanê, March 2016: Women celebrate at new Resistance Monument.]
[By Dave Holmes] July 19 marked the seventh anniversary of northern Syria’s Rojava Revolution. On that day in 2012 the nascent People’s Protection Units (YPG) took control of the Kurdish-majority city of Kobanê. The outnumbered forces of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad surrendered and were allowed to depart (without their weapons). Other Kurdish cities and towns in the north were soon liberated also. Continue reading
[By Helena Grunfeld] Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton wants to stop former IS fighters returning to Australia. That does not make the problem disappear. Where does he expect them to live? Does he want to leave that responsibility to the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, also known as Rojava, the mainly Kurdish area of Syria?
Have the Kurdish fighters who defeated IS militarily and paid a very high price in terms of deaths and injuries not sacrificed enough? Are they now to be burdened by these criminals? We need international solidarity to resolve this issue. We must not wash our hands of it. Australia should take its share of responsibility and support the Kurdish people in Syria who fought so courageously.
[Published in The Age Letters, July 5, 2019]
[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
[By Peter Boyle] NSW Supreme Court Judge Lucy McCallum discharged the jury on December 6 after it failed to agree on a verdict in the trial of Kurdish journalist Renas Lelikan on “foreign fighter” charges under Australia’s draconian “anti-terrorism” laws. Continue reading
Wednesday, October 31, 6:30pm. Purple Room, Multicultural Hub, 506 Elizabeth St, City (opposite Victoria Markets). Organised by Australians for Kurdistan. Continue reading
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.
[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
- Rally & march: Solidarity with Afrin. Turkey out of Syria! No Aust ties with Turkey! Turkey is carrying out large-scale ethnic cleansing in Afrin in northwestern Syria. Some 150,000 Kurds have been forced out to be replaced with Syrian Arab refugees and jihadists and their families. Yet the West is silent. The Turnbull government has said nothing. Join us in a rally and march on World Afrin Day. 2pm. State Library, 328 Swanston St,City. Organised by Kurdish Democratic Community Centre of Victoria & Australians for Kurdistan. (Photo: London rally, March 31.) Facebook
- Benefit gig for Afrin: Si amo Afrin. Film screening & bands: A fundraiser for Afrin refugees. 5pm on. Melbourne Anarchist Centre, 62 High St, Northcote. Facebook