'Italy should take responsibility for Abdullah Öcalan'

Lawyer Arturo Salerni said that Italy should take responsibility for its court decision to grant Abdullah Öcalan asylum in 1999, which cannot be cancelled.

The campaign for "Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan and Political Solution to the Kurdish Question", which was launched with a joint statement in 74 centres around the world on 10 October, is growing. One of the important centres where the campaign is being carried out is Italy, one of the countries where Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan once stayed. ANF talked to Abdullah Öcalan's lawyer Arturo Salerni about the work carried out in Italy and the isolation of the Kurdish leader.

Arturo Salerni, who considers the state of absolute incommunicado that Abdullah Öcalan has been in for 33 months as a form of torture, said: "The inability of a prisoner to meet with his lawyers and family is a violation of the fundamental rights recognised by the European Convention on Human Rights, which is the basis of the Council of Europe. Turkey is a member of the Council of Europe. We are therefore faced with Turkey's violation of its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights."

Demand for Öcalan’s freedom is spreading

Recalling that protests and actions have been organised in Italy for Abdullah Öcalan's freedom for a long time, Attorney Salerni emphasised that the demand for freedom is spreading to all areas and answered day by day. Underlining the importance of the global campaign for Abdullah Öcalan's freedom, lawyer Salerni said: "We are also carrying out a campaign in Italy because we believe that it can play a decisive role in the search for a political solution to the many conflicts that continue in the region where the Kurdish people live and where four states are involved."

Italy has a special responsibility

Reminding of the political asylum granted by the Italian courts to Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan, Salerni continued: "In 1999, the Court of Rome recognised Abdullah Öcalan as a persecuted and threatened person and leader of the Kurdish people and granted him political asylum. This judgement is still valid today. In the context of this judgement, Italy has a special responsibility to take action to change the conditions of isolation in which Abdullah Öcalan finds himself and to ensure his freedom."

Öcalan created an important spirit of solidarity in Rome

Arturo Salerni stated that Abdullah Öcalan gained great sympathy among the Italian people during his stay in Rome and created an important spirit of solidarity: "The sympathy of the Italian people towards the Kurdish people has grown even more especially with the Rojava Revolution. Now, with this spirit of solidarity, our priority in Italy is to put pressure on our institutions, especially the parliament, and to ensure that the Italian government takes action. Italy should assume the responsibilities of its own court's decision to grant Öcalan asylum, which cannot be cancelled. We will insist that the Italian government fulfil this responsibility."