Lunnebach: The PKK ban started as an exception, turned into law

Lawyer to Kurds in Germany Edith Lunnebach spoke in the ongoing conference in Berlin on the PKK ban and said: “The ban and obstacles against Kurds started with exceptions, and in time it turned into law.”

The conference titled “25 Years of the PKK Ban: 25 years of oppression and democracy serving German Foreign Policy” started in the morning in Berlin. Die Linke MPs, lawyers, politicians and human rights defenders are among the attendees.

The conference is held in the conference hall of Die Linke headquarters Karl-Liebknecht-Haus, organized jointly by Azadî Association who work for the Kurdish political prisoners in Germany, the International Association for Human Rights and Democracy (MAF-DAD), the Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights Association (EJDM/ELDH) and the Roten Hilfe Federal Administration. Lawyers from the Netherlands and Belgium are also present in the conference which will continue all day.

Azadî Association administrator Dr. Elmar Millich gave the opening speech, summarizing the process after the PKK ban was declared in 1993 and pointing out the fight against the ban for 25 years, as well as the German state’s relationship to the Turkish state.

The German human rights defender said the ban was expanded in recent years with the addition of new symbols.

Die Linke MP Thomas Flüger gave a speech and said the party was glad to be hosting such a conference. Flüger saluted the participants in the name of Die Linke, and added that the German police wanted to ban the conference: “The obstruction of the conference is part of the intolerance the police have displayed throughout Germany recently.”


Flüger said Die Linke fights to have the German state lift the pressure against Kurds and added: “We are also looking forward to the outcome of this conference. We are prepared to do our part in the fight to end the pressure.”

Edith Lunnebach, one of the defense lawyers in the case against Kurdish politicians in Düsseldorf in 1988, gave a speech and said the bans and obstacles against the PKK have expanded and deepened in the last 30 years: “The ban and obstacles against Kurds started with exceptions, and in time turned into law.”

Lunnebach said German laws were transformed to allow easy pressuring of the Kurdish freedom movement in time: “The process  to label the PKK as terrorist had been planned for a long time. We can see that in the 1988 Düsseldorf verdicts as well.”