[Sarah Glynn, co-convenor of Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan, attended the recent conference on ‘The European Union, Turkey, The Middle East and the Kurds’ at the European Parliament, and writes about what she found out.]
Relations between Europe and Turkey demonstrate an unedifying realpolitik in which there are many losers, and the only winners are the usual coterie of financiers, arms manufacturers and authoritarian politicians. Continue reading
The Central Committee of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party PKK (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê) has commented on the ruling of the Court of Cassation in Brussels, which earlier this week finally confirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal that the PKK is not a “terrorist organisation” but a party in an armed conflict. Continue reading
[By Maxime Azadi] BRUSSELS — The Court of Cassation of Belgium ratified the lower court’s judgement and ruled that PKK is not a terrorist organization.
During the first hearing held on January 14, the Court of Cassation prosecutor requested ratification of the ruling of the Court of Appeals in the PKK case. A lower court prosecutor and lawyers for the Turkish state requested time to respond to the opinion of the Court of Cassation prosecutor. Continue reading
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.
[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.