december 05, 2021
Let’s Make the Fight for Rêber Apo’s Freedom Even More Manifold
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has expressed in its recent decision that the imposition of the aggravated life sentence violates the legal norms of the Council of Europe. However, this decision has come very late. Turkey has now been asked to explain within one year how it intends to change this sentence, which is not in line with Council of Europe`s legal norms. Turkey had already been warned about this in the past. The fact that Turkey has now been granted another year clearly shows that Europe does not implement its own law and decisions when it comes to Kurds. This issue thus shows a clear weakness of Europe, which itself claims to stand up for democracy and the rule of law.
Even though it comes very late and extends to a whole year, the decision of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will still lead to positive results. Just as the [struggle against] the death sentence for Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] led to the abolition of the death penalty in Turkey, the struggle for Rêber Apo’s physical freedom will spell the end of the aggravated life sentence in Turkey. Because the struggle of the Kurdish people and its international friends has finally gotten the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to take this latest decision.
For 23 years, a special law has been applied against a single person on Imrali. This fact alone shows that in Imrali a system of oppression and torture exists that is unparalleled anywhere in the world. On Imrali, revenge is being taken on Rêber Apo for giving the Kurds a consciousness of freedom. For this reason a world-wide incomparable aggravated life sentence is bein implemented on Imrali. Turkey, which is itself a member of the Council of Europe, is responsible for this. Turkey does this, although it is clear that such a punishment is contrary to the legal norms of Europe. Undoubtedly, the Turkish state is able to make such a decision only because Europe puts its political and economic interests above any norms.
The Council of Europe is one of the main responsible for the tightened isolation system on Imrali. The Council of Europe has always known about the unlawful conditions and the torture system there. Because the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) – a Council of Europe institution – officially recognized three years ago that the isolation on Imrali constitutes torture and called for its immediate end. But Turkey has so far refused to lift the aggravated solitary confinement, knowing all too well the opportunistic attitude of Europe. Through the CPT, the Council of Europe officially notified Turkey three years ago that the aggravated life sentence was not in accordance with existing European law. Nevertheless, the Council of Europe has only now put this issue on its agenda and, moreover, has issued a clearly inadequate decision. Although the increased isolation on Imrali is a part and a direct consequence of the increased life sentence, the Council of Europe has not yet taken a clear position on this issue. For this reason, the international friends of the Kurds, democratic forces, legal institutions, and above all the Kurds themselves have criticized the recent decision as insufficient. However, even if it is an insufficient decision, it is urgent that the Committee of Ministers now put its decision into practice and accordingly fulfill its responsibility to immediately lift the aggravated life sentence.
Although it has come very late, the decision of the Committee of Ministers does represent a step toward the end of the aggravated life sentence. Likewise, it will make it even more difficult to continue to maintain isolation. The struggle of the Kurdish people exposes the fascist and undemocratic character of the Turkish state in such a way that today all the special war masks of the fascist regime are falling one by one. Our freedom struggle has revealed the true nature of the Turkish state and thus weakened both at home and abroad. This struggle will eventually spell the end of this fascist and anti-democratic rule.
The struggle against the isolation and for the physical freedom of Rêber Apos has reached a new dimension in the course of 2021. His physical freedom has consequently become an important item on the agenda of the worldwide democratic forces. If we consider the struggle for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo and the resulting outcomes in connection with the recent decision of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, it is evident that in the 24th year of the International Conspiracy there will be important developments regarding the freedom of Rêber Apo and his freedom will turn into an actual reality. Our people, their international friends and the democratic forces of this world are already impatiently waiting to finally meet Rêber Apo and are therefore clearly saying that the time is ripe for Rêber Apo’s freedom.
While our people and their friends continue to fight for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo, the legal struggle for this goal must also continue. For the recent decision of the Committee of Ministers is the joint success of the struggle for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo and the accompanying legal struggle. Therefore, in the 24th year of the International Conspiracy, both dimensions of this struggle must continue. Thus, it must be ensured that the struggle for the freedom of the Kurdish people and Rêber Apo becomes even more manifold.
Through our manifold struggle, the genocidal and colonialist Turkish state today stands on the verge of its collapse. It has now been clearly shown that this is a state that has not the slightest thing to do with justice and law. Its accompanying complete loss of legitimacy will lead to the collapse of this state.
We greet all the fighting forces with respect, who are bringing the freedom of Rêber Apo and the Kurdish people closer and closer through their struggle. And we renew our promise to crown our struggle by achieving the freedom of Rêber Apo, a free Kurdistan, a democratic Turkey and a democratic Middle East.
KCK Executive Council