The co-chairs of the Freedom for Ocalan campaign, Christine Blower of NEU and Simon Dubbins of Unite, have issued the following statement on this week’s events and restated the call for the release of Mr Ocalan.
This has been a vitally important week for the campaign to release Abdullah Ocalan. For the first time in 8 years, Mr Ocalan has finally been able to meet with representatives of his legal team and to issue a short public statement. Although this development is highly significant, and we hope will be followed by further regular visits and meetings, it remains an appalling fact that Mr Ocalan has endured complete isolation and the denial of the most basic of prisoners human rights for the last 8 years of his 20-year incarceration.
Given the severely curtailed independence of the Turkish judiciary following the 2016 attempted coup, it is unimaginable that such a significant decision would have been taken without the explicit approval of the Turkish government. We fully welcome this move and call on the Turkish government to continue on this path by immediately restoring all family and legal visits without further hindrance.
We remain firmly convinced that Mr Ocalan has a critical role to play in the search for peace in Turkey and the wider region and we therefore also reiterate our call for his immediate release in order to hasten that process.Christine Blower and Simon Dubbins Co-Chairs of the Freedom for Ocalan campaign
How can you help the campaign?
With growing support in the trade union movement, devolved governments and the Parliamentary Labour Party theFreedom for Ocalan campaign is calling on trade unionists and activists to join the call for the release of Ocalan and support the many local campaigns now running throughout the UK and Europe.
If you’re a member of a trade union we ask that you support us by requesting your branch, regional or national trade union affiliate now.
Members of political parties able to pass motions at a branch or constituency level, particularly Labour members can use this model motion.
Alternatively, if you feel you are able you could make a one-off or regular donation to help the campaign.