Former German MP faces trial over solidarity with Kurdistan
On Thursday, the appeal hearing of Michel Brandt for his solidarity with Kurdistan will take place in Karlsruhe. Left Party MP Gökay Akbulut speaks of intimidation and declares solidarity with her former parliamentary group colleague.
On 12 January, the appeal hearing of former member of the German Parliament, Bundestag, Michel Brandt (DIE LINKE) for his solidarity with Kurdistan will take place at the Karlsruhe Regional Court from 9 am. An hour before, starting at 8 a.m., there will be a solidarity rally at which, among others, the member of the Bundestag, Gökay Akbulut, and the state spokesperson of the Left Party in Baden-Württemberg, Sahra Mirow, will speak.
"THE PKK BAN MUST BE LIFTED"
Sahra Mirow and Elwis Capece, national spokespersons of DIE LINKE, said: "A conviction of Michel Brandt would be a new act of intimidation and persecution of Kurdistan solidarity. The PKK ban, which forms the basis for this, must finally be lifted. In this way, freedom of expression in Germany is further restricted. Michel Brandt has taken a stand against Turkey's war of aggression and for peace in Rojava and the Middle East. This cannot and must not be punishable."
AKBULUT: "PEOPLE IN SOLIDARITY ARE TO BE INTIMIDATED"
Gökay Akbulut, a member of the Bundestag, also condemned the trial against her former colleague: "The trial is a clear case of intimidation of all those who show solidarity with the Kurdish freedom movement. For weeks, the Turkish army has been attacking Rojava in northern Syria and southern Kurdistan in northern Iraq, bombing towns and villages and also demonstrably using chemical weapons and dirty bombs. In this context, we also see the assassinations of Kurdish activists in Paris. We will not allow Kurdistan solidarity in Germany to be further criminalised!"
WHAT IS MICHEL BRANDT ACCUSED OF?
The former member of the Bundestag from Karlsruhe, Michel Brandt, is accused of publishing pictures of a demonstration in Strasbourg on Facebook and Instagram in 2019, showing flags that are banned in Germany. Brandt, as a member of the Bundestag and the Council of Europe, had taken a stand in front of 25,000 Kurds against the attack on the autonomous region of Rojava, which is against international law, and demanded the immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops. In addition, according to the public prosecutor's office, he used banned symbols in calls on his homepage and in his social media appearances for demonstrations in Karlsruhe against the war waged by Turkey against the people of Rojava.
PUBLIC PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE AWAITS END OF BUNDESTAG MANDATE
Only two weeks after the end of his parliamentary activity in 2021, the Karlsruhe public prosecutor's office served him with a penalty order of 14,000 euros for this purpose. In January 2022, the Karlsruhe District Court sentenced him to 60 daily fines of 70 euros each (= 4,200 euros). The regional association of the Left Party calls it "incomprehensible that the public prosecutor's office waited until shortly after the end of Brandt's Bundestag mandate to bring charges because of something that happened in 2019".