KCDK-E demands an official apology for the “shameful attack” in Strasbourg

After the police attack on activists protesting for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan, largest Kurdish umbrella organization in Europe, KCDK-E demands an apology from the Governor's Office of Strasbourg.

The European Kurdish Democratic Societies Congress (KCDK-E) condemned the police attack on October 2 in Strasbourg and vowed to expand the actions. On Saturday, the French police attacked activists who had set up a tent commune for the freedom of Öcalan. Massive violence was used, including tear gas.

The statement of the KCDK-E says: "With the conspiracy against Rêber Apo [Leader Abdullah Öcalan] 23 years ago, it was intended to destroy the Kurdish freedom struggle and its representative. The resistance of Rêber Apo and our people and their friends made the plot fail, although not completely. The unsuccessful forces behind the plot, nevertheless, continue to try to make it succeed over and over again. Within the framework of the AKP/MHP state's 'defeat plan', the torture and isolation on Imrali have been intensified and the war, massacres and occupation in Kurdistan have been intensified. This is done with the support of the forces behind the plot.

By using chemical weapons against the Kurdistan Freedom Guerrilla, the Turkish army is trampling on international and human law and is encouraged by the silence of the international community.

These dirty plans were dealt a heavy blow with the start of the 'Time for Freedom' campaign on September 12, 2020 and now the 'Freedom for Ocalan' campaign. On October 2, a rally of the initiative 'Freedom for Ocalan' was held in Strasbourg on occasion of the second anniversary of the 'Time for Freedom' campaign, in which intellectuals, academics, women and environmental organizations from many countries are involved. British and French trade unions, France's largest NGO MRAP, organizations of the Arab peoples and the Alliance of Democratic Forces, among others, took part in this rally. They sent a clear signal for the second phase of the 'Time for Freedom' campaign and showed that Rêber Apo with his model of democratic confederalism is no longer only the representative of the Kurdish people, but an international representative for democracy and freedom.

The demands of the Kurdish people and their friends were presented by well-known speakers from Italy, Great Britain, France and many others. They called for an immediate end to Öcalan's more than 22 years of isolation and appealed to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture to immediately fulfill its duty. The European Court of Human Rights must impose sanctions on the Turkish state and remind Turkey of its international responsibilities to the Council of Europe and the United Nations. The Council of Europe must urgently take political steps aimed at the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan, using the executive enforcement powers of the Council of Ministers.

On October 2, a rally was held in Strasbourg organized by the Freedom for Ocalan Initiative. We salute and congratulate all those who organized and participated in this great rally. After the rally, the activists set up a tent commune in Arnold Square and exercised their right to civil disobedience in order to make their demands known and to build pressure on the relevant institutions. The residents of the camp, among them many old people and children, became the target of a brutal attack by the Strasbourg police. The activists were violently dragged to the ground and tortured with tear gas. The tents were torn apart, personal belongings were scattered. With these attacks, the governor and the police of Strasbourg have done a service to Erdoğan with his ISIS mentality. We call on the governor to immediately make a public statement and apologize to the Kurdish people and their friends for the shameful attack on the tent community.

It should be known that neither the terrorist attacks of the Turkish state nor the silence of the European states will stop the Kurdish people and their friends from fighting and committing themselves to the legitimate struggle.

We strongly condemn this brutal and illegal attack on our people and our friends in Strasbourg and salute the resolute resistance of our people.

Our campaign 'Freedom will win - Stand up for Ocalan' will become wider and more comprehensive everywhere in the coming period. We will expand our struggle everywhere to make the Council of Europe and the international institutions implement their decisions and to enforce physical freedom and an end to Öcalan's isolation."