KHRAG South Africa’s letter of support for the Launch of the international campaign
Press statement from KHRAG
For the Launch of the international campaign: “Freedom for Abdullah Ocalan” 6th September 2012
Since 1997 the South African Kurdish Human Rights Action Group (KHRAG) has been engaged in seeking peace, human rights and democracy for the Kurdish people in Turkey. The similarities between the struggle of Abdullah Ocalan and Nelson Mandela are striking. The struggles of the South African and the Kurdish peoples are not dissimilar.
The South African people have achieved their objective. The Kurdish people are still struggling to achieve their rights. In their struggle Abdullah Ocalan has been instrumental in the struggle for the rights of the Kurdish people in the same way as Nelson Mandela was instrumental in the fight for the rights of the South African people.
Nelson Mandela’s release from prison 20 years ago on 11 February 1990 was the key to peace and democracy in South Africa. Demanding the release of Mandela and other political prisoners was a precondition to negotiations.
Abdullah Ocalan has persistently, over the last decade, advocated a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue, based on dialogue and negotiation. Ocalan has proposed a non-violent resolution of the conflict so that real democracy, justice and human rights can be afforded to the Kurdish people. Last August Abdullah Ocalan presented a Road Map to Negotiations for Peace in Turkey.
Like Nelson Mandela, Abdullah Ocalan, can play an important role on behalf of the Kurdish people to find a lasting solution between the Kurdish and the Turkish peoples. In recognition of this role the Kurdish Human Rights Group in South Africa has launched an international campaign “one million signatures for the release of Abdullah Ocalan, the legitimate leader of the Kurdish. We have now been joined by the “International initiative for the release of Abdullah Ocalan – Peace in Kurdistan” and the campaign is now jointly pursued between our two organizations.
The European Court of Human Rights Court (ECHR) has found that the trial of Abdullah Ocalan in Turkey before a semi military tribunal was unfair. This effectively means that according to the ECHR his continual imprisonment on Imrali (an island off the coast of Turkey) is unlawful
We call on all peace loving people in Europe and the rest of the World to show their support and solidarity for the Rights of the Kurdish people and demand the immediate release of Abdullah Ocalan.
The people of South Africa and elsewhere have already shown such solidarity by signing the petition.
Judge Essa Moosa (Chair KHRAG South Africa)
Rev. Matthew Esau (Deputy Chair KHRAG South Africa)
Mr. Azad Bock (Head of Signature Campaign South Africa)