Today is International Mother Language Day. This day is observed every year to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. It was created by UNESCO (the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organisation) in order to promote the dissemination of mother tongues and a fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue. Read more
Peace in Kurdistan Campaign press release:
The seventh hearing in a long-running trial against the legal representatives of Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who is currently in talks with the Turkish government to resolve the 30-year-old Kurdish –Turkish conflict, will take place tomorrow.
A delegation of leading barristers and solicitors from the UK will attend the trial, which will take place Silivri prison complex in the largest courthouse in the world, along with another two dozen international trial monitors from across Europe. The UK delegation includes human rights barristers Mark Jones (St Ives Chambers) and Margaret Owen OBE (9 Bedford Row Chambers); lawyer Sasha Zernova, representative of the Solicitors International Human Rights Committee; as well as Claire Fourel, lawyer at Ashurst; and barrister Alex Haines (Bretton Woods Law Chambers).
The trial has already been heavily criticised by international legal groups for failing to adhere to standards of international law and for breaching the European Convention on Human Rights.
The 36 defendants were members of Ocalan’s legal team at the time of their arrest in simultaneous police raids in November 2011. They have been accused, under Turkey’s anti-terrorism legislation, of being members of a ‘leadership committee’ within the PKK and of passing orders from their client to other PKK members. The PKK remains a banned organisation in Turkey, as well as in the EU, the UK and the US, despite the government engaging in peace talks with the organisation throughout this year.
The lawyers deny all the charges and contend that they have only acted in accordance with their professional duties, for which they are now being cynically criminalised.
The trial is one of dozens of mass political trials of Kurdish intellectuals, media workers, trade unionists, academics and politicians. To date more than 8,000 people have been arrested as part of the government’s attack on Kurdish civil society, with the majority facing terrorism charges.
Turkey’s counterterrorism operations have led to the country holding the world’s largest number of prisoners convicted of terrorism and the country has been widely criticised for using the dangerously broad anti-terror law to quell anti-government dissent.
For further information contact:
Peace in Kurdistan – Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Firat news: Amnesty International has launched a campaign calling on the Iranian authorities to quash the convictions of brothers Khosro and Masoud Kordpour, both journalists from Iran’s Kurdish minority, and to release them immediately as they have been prosecuted for their peaceful journalistic activities. http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE13/056/2013/en/3d14e2eb-d511-44e6-9bd2-0f8e1f75c592/mde130562013en.html
On 10 November, the Mahabad Revolutionary Court in the north-western province of Kordestan convicted brothers Khosro and Masoud Kordpourof the vaguely worded offences of “gathering and colluding against national security” and “spreading propaganda against the system” and sentenced them to six and three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment, respectively. The Court also stipulated that Khosro Kordpour should serve five of the six years of his prison sentence in Tabriz, north-west Iran, some 550km away from his home in Kordestan Province and, after serving his term, should be sent to Kerman, southern Iran, over 1,100km away from his home, to spend two years in internal exile. Trials in Revolutionary Courts fail to meet international fair trial standards. Read more
The tears that are being shed worldwide for Nelson Mandela today, the stories that are being shared about him and the wisdom that he bequeathed to all other freedom movements shows us what an outstanding individual he was.
The history of the peoples of the world is mostly shaped through the callous insolence of those trying to hold the masses in their grip. This insolence at times appears because the whole world sees this oppression but turns a blind eye to it, at times through the evil of totalitarianism and the banality by which it is fed. While the perpetrators of evil constantly bow their knees in shame and beg forgiveness or become a dark chapter in the book of history, the struggle against the banality of evil and rising totalitarianism appears in the only thing soaking all the soils of the world at the same time: the tears of the oppressed human being. Read more
ANF – News Desk 10.11.2013 : Iran has executed more than 200 people in the three months since new President Hassan Rouhani took office, says a report in E-Kurd. According to a former reformist Member of Parliament, Rouhani’s Special Assistant in Ethnic and Minority Affairs Ali Younesi expressed his dismay at the recent executions in Kurdistan and said that “extremist elements” were responsible for them. Former MP Hassel Dasseh told Kurdish news website NNS ROJ that during a meeting on November 5 with Younesi and political activists, Younesi expressed sadness and regret about the recent executions and the intensified crackdown in Kurdistan.
Since Rouhani took office this August, a sharp increase in the number of executions, specifically among drug traffickers, Kurdish activists and Kurdish political prisoners, has created concern among civil society that extremist groups in the Iranian Judiciary and security apparatus have adopted this violent approach to show that the status quo remains. Iran has hanged 40 people over the past ten days. On November 3 and 4 alone,www.Ekurd.net authorities executed 12 people in different cities in Iran. On October 8, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center jointly called for an immediate moratorium on executions in Iran given the alarming rise in the use of the death penalty in recent weeks.
Amnesty International: Two death row prisoners from Iran’s Kurdish minority are at imminent risk of being executed after the Iranian authorities carried out 20 death sentences over the weekend, Amnesty International warned today.
“This surge in executions shows that behind words and promises, the Iranian authorities continue to rely on state-sponsored killing, sparking fears that Zaniar Moradi and Loghman Moradi, two Kurdish minority prisoners on death row, could be next,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International. Read more
ERBIL, Aug.22 (AKnews)- Revolutionary Organization of the Toilers of Kurdistan (best known as Komala) and Democratic Party of Kurdistan (DPK), two Kurdish opposition parties of Iran, signed an agreement for cooperation, said a member of the central committee of Komala.
Komala General Secretary Abdolla Mohtadi and his counterpart in DPK, Mostafa Hejri, met yesterday in the politburo of DPK, said Salar Pashayi. Read more
Human Rights Watch WORLD REPORT 2012: In 2011 Iranian authorities refused to allow government critics to engage in peaceful demonstrations. In February, March, April, and September security forces broke up large-scale protests in several major cities. In mid-April security forces reportedly shot and killed dozens of protesters in Iran’s Arab-majority Khuzestan province. There was a sharp increase in the use of the death penalty. Read more