The Italian trade unions COBAS, CUB and UNICOBAS have sent a letter to the United Nations to support the campaign “The Time Has Come: Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan towards a just peace in Turkey”.
The campaign was launched in South Africa by the Kurdish Human Rights Action Group (KHRAG) together with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). The letter reminds the international plot with which the Kurdish representative Abdullah Öcalan was handed over to the Turkish state on 15 February 1999. In the open letter the trade unions say: “It has been 22 years since Abdullah Öcalan has been imprisoned under conditions similar to those imposed on Nelson Mandela. Öcalan has never ceased to guide his people towards peace and democracy in Turkey, Syria and the entire Middle East. The wisdom and forward thinking of ‘Democratic Confederalism’ testify to this, but unfortunately the Turkish regime and dictator Erdoğan have turned Turkey into a prison and barracks. The most basic political and human rights are denied, the ongoing social and economic crisis and increasing poverty are hidden by the bloody Turkish regime.”
“United Nations should mediate in a peace process”
The unions call on the UN to act as a mediator for peace and justice in Turkey and Kurdistan and add than “the Italian government is more interested in dirty business (including arms sale) than in the defense of human rights and the fight against wars. Tens of thousands of people around the world are taking part in the campaign for the release of Abdullah Öcalan at a time when the pandemic is destroying the lives of millions, starving people and particularly threatening those in prison.
As trade unions we have been active for peace and democracy in Turkey, Syria, the Middle East and Rojava for years and we declare once again that we are committed to the work and the calls of the International Campaign ‘The time has come: Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan – For support a just peace in Turkey’.”