Germany fines Kurdish citizen for publishing PKK flag on Facebook

A Kurdish citizen living in Germany has been fined for sharing a photo with PKK flag on social media.

Yakup Avcı residing in the German city of Giessen visited the tent put up in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France last year to draw attention to the Turkish state's war in Kurdistan. Avcı took a photo of solidarity here and published it on Facebook on 26 February, 2016.

Seeing this Facebook post, German police filed a criminal complaint against Avcı on the grounds of that there was PKK flag in the image. The man's Facebook acoount was later closed down on demand of the German police.

The second hearing in the case opened against Avcı was held at Giessen Administrative Court the day before. The court prosecutor argued that PKK was a terrorist organization and cited the PKK ban in effect in Germany since 1993 in claiming Avcı's act was a crime.

The prosecutor demanded that Yakup Avcı be given 1600 Euro fine because the image in question consists of PKK flag.

Speaking during the hearing, Yakup Avcı stated that unlike the German state, the Kurdish people do not view the PKK as a terrorist organization. Avcı described the PKK as a movement of humanity and asked the court board: “How could the PKK that has rescued peoples of the Midle East, the Êzidîs in the first place, from ISIS, a most savage gang around the world, be a terrorist organization?”

Still, the court board approved the prosecutor's demand for 1600 Euro fine for Avcı who therewith took the case to a higher court and appealed against the order.

Yakup Avcı opened a new Facebook account and shared a larger image of the PKK flag. Speaking to ANF about the case, Avcı said the German police was familiar with him because of his political works in Giessen, stressing that this is why he has been targeted. An administrator at the Mesopotamia Kurdish Association in Giessen, Avcı pointed out that Germany did not protect its own values when it came to the Kurds.

Remarking that the German state forced the Kurds to keep their distance from their freedom struggle through a policy of intimidation, Avcı underlined that: “No matter how much fine they impose on me, or which sentence they might give to me, no force can ever keep me away from my struggle and our values.”