Thousands rally in Qamishlo, demanding “Freedom for Öcalan”

Kurdish people continue their actions worldwide demanding freedom for Abdullah Öcalan who has not been heard from for nearly three years.

Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan has been in solitary confinement on the prison island of Imrali since his abduction to Turkey in 1999. The last contact with him was a telephone conversation with his brother in spring 2021, which was interrupted after a few minutes. Öcalan last had contact with his lawyers from the Istanbul-baed Asrın Law Office in August 2019. After an eight-year interruption, a hunger strike led by politician Leyla Güven, who has since been imprisoned again, resulted in a total of five visits by lawyers. The last family visit to the island was approved in March 2020. Since then, isolation in the high-security prison has been driven to the level of total incommunicado detention.

After the recent earthquake in Gemlik, from where all boats travelling to Imrali depart, the Kurdish people's concerns about the health and safety of Abdullah Öcalan are increasing.

The Youth Council of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) organized a march in the northern Syrian city of Qamishlo on Wednesday to demand immediate contact with the Kurdish leader.

The crowd also saluted the political prisoners in North Kurdistan and Turkey, who are on the 24th day of hunger strike demanding an end to the isolation of Öcalan.

The march, which was attended by members of civil organisations, assemblies, communes, Kongra Star, Syrian Revolutionary Youth Movement and Young Women's Union from Qamishlo, Til Hemîs and Amûdê, started at the Sonî intersection and ended at the Şehîd Rûbar Qamişlo intersection.

Speaking at the rally here, MSD Youth Council Member Welaa Omer condemned the isolation system on Imrali and said, "The isolation on Leader Öcalan is directed against all peoples who embrace his philosophy."

Welaa Omer also condemned the hypocrisy of international organisations on the issue of isolation and called on the peoples to raise resistance to break the isolation and ensure the physical freedom of Abdullah Öcalan.

Kongra Star member Şaha Xelîl said, "We can eliminate all attacks through the construction of Leader Öcalan’s democratic project."