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Manuel Cortes and Tony Burke join call for meeting with European Council

Manuel Cortes and Tony Burke join call for meeting with European Council

Leading trade unionists, legal professionals, activists, actors, filmmakers and a former finance minister are calling for an urgent meeting with the European Council in order for the Committee for the Prevention of Torture to reopen its investigation of Imrali Island.

Turkey breaking own laws

The group which included the actor Maxine Peake and former finance minister for Iceland Ögmundur Jónasson formed an international peace delegation in February 2019 with the intention of visiting Imrali Island with Abdullah Ocalan‘s legal team. The visit, which is Mr Ocalan’s legal right under Turkish and international law, would have been the first since 2011. The Turkish state declined to allow the visit.

At a press conference to publicise the delegation’s findings, Tony Burke, assistant general secretary of Unite described the treatment of Mr Ocalan as “Barbaric”

Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the TSSA expressed grave concern at the increasing persecution of trade unionists in Turkey and called on UK trade unionists to show their solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Turkey and the Kurdish peoples struggle for justice.

Affiliate your branch or organisation

The actor and playwright Maxine Peake spoke of her frustration with the general silence on the part of the international left and called on activists to do more to support the campaign.

Imrali delegation letter to the European Council

Growing calls for international solidarity

In the week of Newroz on March 20th the devolved government of Wales made history by becoming the first nation to show it’s solidarity with the Kurdish peoples call for freedom for Ocalan. The motion had a particular strength and poignancy as Newport resident Imam Sis neared day 100 of his hunger strike.

The Welsh Government now has a Cabinet Minister for International Relations. Surely it’s incumbent on the National Assembly and Welsh Government to recognise and support the part of a Newport man is currently playing in an international struggle for justice, equality and human rights?

All we ask is for the Welsh Government on behalf of the Assembly write a letter to the Committee for the Prevention of Torture calling for the committee to visit Imrali Prison to assess the conditions of Abdullah Öcalan.

Delyth Jewell – Plaid Cymru AM and shadow minister for international affairs

The campaign has also learned that MP for Brighton Kemptown Lloyd Cameron Russell-Moyle has raised an topical foreign office question in the commons.

How can you help the campaign?

With growing support in the trade union movement, devolved governments and the Parliamentary Labour Party the Freedom for Ocalan campaign is calling on trade unionists and activists to 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.

If you want to support the Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan letter writing campaign to the CPT you can support that here.

Members of political parties able to pass motions at a branch or constituency level, particularly Labour members can use this model motion.

Residents in London who wish to add their voice to the growing pressure on the London Assembly and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, asking them to add their weight to the calls for the European Council to instruct the CPT to investigate, could write a letter to their representative using this model.

By Freedom for Ocalan

The Freedom for Öcalan campaign is a UK trade union-backed initiative to secure the release of imprisoned Kurdish political prisoner Abdullah Öcalan.

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