Kurdish activists arrested in the Netherlands released
Kurdish young activists who were arrested while staging a protest outside the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the Netherlands have been released after two months of detention.
For months, Kurdish organisations have been demanding an independent investigation into Turkey's use of chemical weapons in Kurdistan. Numerous protests have taken place in front of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague to reiterate this demand. In the media and in politics, the accusations are consistently ignored. In order to break the general silence, the Kurdish youth movement again called on the OPCW to act on 3 December, 2021. A large number of activists from various European countries travelled to the scene of the action, and some of them even managed to get into the organisation's building. The Dutch police equipped with batons, tear-gas and dogs detained 44 people, 39 of whom were released after three days in custody.
On 20 December, the remaining five activists were brought before a court which ordered pre-trial detention for four activists; Sinan E., Abdullah G., Serhat E., Hakan H. and Hugo G., accusing them of damage to public property, violence against the police, violation of the assembly law and trespassing. The activists who had been in detention since December 3 have been released on Wednesday.
The European Revolutionary Youth Movements TCŞ and TekoJIN released the following statement concerning the release of the activists:
“Four young revolutionaries, who were arrested by the Dutch state on December 3, 2021, have been released after nearly two months in prison. The Dutch state, which wanted to punish the young people who revealed the truth and Turkey’s use of banned chemical weapons, could not stand against the resistance and solidarity. The release of the revolutionary youth is the outcome of our common resistance, struggle and international solidarity. Young Kurds and European internationalists will keep raising their voices against the crimes of Turkish fascism and its European allies. The struggle against the policy of criminalization and persecution pursued by the European states must continue without interruption. Our comrades are still in prison and persecuted in France and Germany. As TCŞ and TekoJIN, we will continue our struggle without interruption until all our jailed comrades are released,” it said.
“The struggle of the Kurdish people is not a crime! Freedom for all political prisoners,” the statement concluded.
Background to the OPCW protests
In 2021, Turkey used chemical weapons at least 367 times against the Kurdish freedom movement and the people in Southern Kurdistan, killing forty guerrilla fighters. The large-scale offensive of the Turkish army and its war crimes were brought to public attention worldwide through actions, petitions, research, protest and resistance. In particular, the use of outlawed weapons was made an unmistakable issue in European countries.
Since the middle of last year, Kurdish organisations have been demanding an independent investigation into Turkey's use of chemical weapons in Kurdistan. Numerous protests have taken place in front of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague to reiterate this demand. In the media and in politics, the accusations have been consistently ignored.