Vigil for Abdullah Öcalan’s freedom in Strasbourg reaches its 455th week

Vigil for Abdullah Öcalan’s freedom in Strasbourg reaches its 455th week

  • Date: March 12, 2021
  • Categories:Rights

Vigil for Abdullah Öcalan’s freedom in Strasbourg reaches its 455th week

The “Vigil for freedom” that was launched nine years ago demanding freedom for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan continues in Strasbourg.

A group of young Kurdish activists from Rennes declared that they will continue the weekly ‘Vigil for freedom’ in Strasbourg, now into its 455th week.

Eylem Balta, Behçet Binici and Şeyhmus Binici began their vigil in Strasbourg and will continue with their protest until the end of the week. The vigil is the longest action undertaken by the Kurdish community in Europe, and it begins every day in Strasbourg at 08:30 and ends at 17.00.

‘Isolation is imposed on all the Kurds’

“The isolation imposed on Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan is a ‘war method’ and the Turkish government is a war regime. Isolation is imposed on all the Kurds on behalf of Abdullah Öcalan”, said Eylem Balta, speaking on behalf of the new vigil group. Balta stressed that the isolation policy is not independent from the the war, assimilation and ‘occupation’ policies that are being carried out against the Kurdish people by Turkey’s government.

“The ideology proposed by leader Apo is a solution against capitalism which destroys social life, labour, ecology and women’s rights”, she said. The Strasbourg protestors also praised all women resisting in the world and expressed solidarity with everyone promoting International Women’s Day on 8 March.

“On the 455th week of our vigil for freedom, I salute the marches of all women struggling in the mountains, in prisons and in the various parts of the world in the spirit of resistance of Sara, Arin and Ronahi. I also salute the hunger strike ongoing in Turkey’s prisons”, she said.

A vigil for 9 years

The vigil in Strasbourg was launched on 25 June 2012 to demand the physical freedom of Abdullah Öcalan, who has remained in prison isolation conditions in Turkey. It has continued for nine years with the support of the Kurdish community living in Europe and international friends of the Kurdish freedom struggle.

The vigil has been trying to appeal for nine years to the relevant international authorities in the European Court of Human Rights, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) to hear and take action against Turkey’s extreme policy of prison isolation of Abdullah Öcalan.