JXK: Öcalan's birth is the birth of free life

The Association of Women Students from Kurdistan (JXK) starts the hashtag campaign #Rojbunatepirozbe

The Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan is 71 years old today and the Association of Women Students from Kurdistan (JXK) congratulates him on this occasion and starts the hashtag campaign #Rojbunatepirozbe.

The statement released by JXK includes the following:

“Today we as the Association of Women Students from Kurdistan (Jinên Xwendekarên Kurdistan, JXK) celebrate the birthday of Rêber Apo (Leader Öcalan). The 4th of April is not only his birthday, but symbolizes the rebirth of the whole Kurdish people, the Middle East and especially women.

While our people have been and still are exposed to a brutal annihilation policy for centuries, which is characterized by genocides, assimilation, oppression and repression and has the aim to break the Kurdish consciousness and to ban the Kurdish identity, Rebêr Apo resisted this by organizing with his comrades and gave back hope to the society of Kurdistan. Thousands rose up for the struggle for freedom.

Through the resistance and the educational work of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the Kurds found back to their own strength. Today, the name "Kurdistan" is known to everyone.

Especially we as young Kurdish women have gained our identity, our consciousness and our will through Rebêr Apo. Today, as millions of young women protest for their rights on the streets, as they show their will, as they take their place in political and social life and fight to defend their homeland against invasion wars, we owe it especially to the efforts and values that Rebêr Apo has created. That is why April 4 has a special meaning for us: the birth of Rebêr Apo is synonymous with the birth of free life.

Rebêr Apo has always believed in the pioneering role of women: without free women there can be no free society, was his maxim.

Through his ideas and his philosophy, he created a free space for women within the movement in which they could organize themselves and prove their strength. In practice, this can be seen in many different ways: Through the gender-equal co-presidency of all committees, women's cooperatives, the women's village Jinwar in Rojava. In all areas of life women have built up their autonomous structures, work in mixed structures and fight for freedom every day.

Especially today we think of Rebêr Apo, who was taken to the Turkish prison island of Imrali more than 21 years ago in a coordinated action involving many states, and has been in solitary confinement ever since. The prison conditions are extremely strict, with little or no contact with his lawyers and his family. The fascist AKP/MHP regime arbitrarily decides on the prison conditions of Rebêr Apo. And especially in times of the Covid-19 pandemic we are even more concerned about his condition.

Instead of Imrali in detention, Rebêr Apo should be in the middle of our society, which is eagerly waiting and hoping to be with him again.

The birth of this special person has not only filled the heart of Kurdish society with the hope of freedom, but also the hearts of many millions of people worldwide. Not only the revolution of Rojava, which developed on the basis of his ideas and efforts, is a reason to celebrate, but every day we live out his philosophy in our everyday lives. It is especially our responsibility as young Kurdish women to stand up for the freedom of Rebêr Apo and to resist for it.

Therefore we call to unite the voices from every place in the world and become a great echo. Let us unite together in the struggle for freedom and equality.

On the occasion of his birthday, we as JXK are launching a hashtag action in the social media in which you can all participate! Publish your contributions under #Rojbunatepirozbe and be part of it!”