People march for Ocalan's freedom in Europe / ANF
70 people from 13 countries will walk from Luxembourg to Strasbourg from 1 to 11 February to demand recognition for Kurdistan and freedom for Kurdish and PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan.
Called 'The long march', the event will be held under the banner, 'freedom for Ocalan, status for Kurdistan', and begin following a press briefing in front of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg on 1 February, and end in Strasbourg 10 days later.
According to the organisers, 70 people from 13 countries, including French artist Sarah Mauriaucourt, Argentinian doctor Daniel Maraz, Spanish historian Joaquín Martínez, Rojava Azadi Platform Representative Roc Peris from Catalonia, Portuguese activist Susana Isabel, Macedo Gomes and Julia Iglesias from Spain Newroz Kurdish-Basque Solidarity Association, and representatives from Kurdish institutions will participate in the long walk.
Speaking to ANF about the event, Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) Executive Board member Adem Uzun said: "This is the first time an event like this will will take place in Kurdish history, as people from around the world will march for our leader Ocalan."
French Socialist Party and Metz municipality also support march
Uzun said preparation for the march was complete and added, "the march will be an international message as participants will denounce the unlawful practices of the Turkish state and ask the Council of Europe (CoE), Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) and European Union (EU) why they are not abiding to their own criteria and why they do not object to Ocalan's isolation."
Marchers are expected to hold a series of talks with municipalities and non-governmental organisations during the ten-day protest. The ruling Socialist Party of France has also expressed support for the march. A conference on Rojava and the aims of the protest will be held at the Metz municipality on 3 February, which the marchers will participate in.
Young activists to march from Germany to Strasbourg
Uzun also said several three-day marches would be organised across European cities at the beginning of February and that 300 young Kurds would march from Germany to France on 5 February.
Another march in Milan
"Another march on 11 February with the participation of thousands of friends and supporters of Kurds will be held in Milan. This will be the second march of its kind to be held in Italy, after the first one in Rome where 10 thousand people had expressed solidarity with the Kurds. Demonstrators will protest the isolation of our leader Ocalan," Uzun said.
The demonstrations coincide with Ocalan's abduction on 15 February 1999 in Kenya. The PKK leader was abducted in what Kurds have claimed was a joint CIA, Mossad, MIT operation.
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