On the day of political prisoners on March 18, the local group of the Red Aid in Nuremberg organized a rally in the left-wing district of Gostenhof in the afternoon and a panel discussion on the criminalization of the Kurdish freedom movement in the evening.
Various aspects of repression were highlighted in several speeches at the well-attended rally. A representative from the Medya Volkshaus Nürnberg also spoke. He first recalled the fallen of March with a minute’s silence and called on people not to look away when people were murdered, tortured or locked away. Practical solidarity is required – also in Germany, where authorities are targeting Kurds and depriving them of their basic democratic rights. The goal of repression – intimidation and retreat – will not be achieved if everyone stands together in their determination to defend life. In order to celebrate the resistance together and to welcome spring, the Medya Volkshaus invited everyone present to this year’s Newroz in Nuremberg next Tuesday and to the central demonstration next Saturday in Frankfurt am Main.
Message from Mirza B.
In another speech, a message from the Kurdish prisoner Mirza B. was delivered. After the conclusion of his oral hearing because of Sections 129a/b, he was transferred to Bayreuth Prison – meanwhile the third prison he “was allowed” to get to know.
Mirza B. first expressed his thanks for the solidarity in the form of letters, postcards and the process support. This gave him a lot of morale. He then went into the tragedies that Kurds had to endure in recent months and that filled him with pain in his cell: the Turkish state’s war against the freedom movement and the ignorance of politicians and the media to perceive it; the renewed massacre in Paris, the second raid in Nuremberg with the arrest of Tahir K. and finally the earthquake on February 6 in the Turkish-Syrian border region. According to Mirza B., this has again shown that no help can be expected from the state. What people really need are structures of solidarity in a self-organized society. He called for support for the victims of the disaster through donations to the aid organization Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê, which guarantees that the money does not end up in the hands of the state and seep away there.
Mirza B. let it be known about his detention situation that he wanted to turn his cell into an academy, but that he would continue to be cut off from information about his people – for example by refusing to give him the Yeni Özgür Politika newspaper. He suspects that the German state wants to prevent him from drawing morality from it. His answer: You don’t need a newspaper to tell others about the freedom struggle. Yes, you don’t even have to talk… In addition, the delivery of letters continues to be a problem; of course everything is read, and also repeatedly held back or delayed.
Finally, Mirza B. speaks of the hope that keeps him alive: he knows that out there, on the mountains, in the plains, in the villages and cities, the fight for a free life goes on. He advised: “Never give up hope for a free life! After darkness comes light.” His greeting ended with three slogans: “Long live internationalist resistance! Long live the freedom struggle of the Kurdish people! Bijî berxwedana gerîla! – Long live the resistance of the guerrillas!”
Panel discussion on the criminalization of the Kurdish movement
At the panel discussion in the evening entitled “Intensified repression against Kurds?”, representatives of the legal aid fund AZADÎ, the Federation of the Peoples of Kurdistan (FED-GEL) and lawyer Yunus Ziyal discussed the repressive practice of German authorities. Azadî first emphasized the good cooperation with the Red Aid (“Between us there is no leaf”) and then gave an outline of the practice of persecution against Kurds in Germany – from the Düsseldorf trial to the murder of Halim Dener, the 2011 authorization to persecute and the Extension of the symbol ban in 2017. It is interesting to see that none of the measures have helped to really weaken the PKK. The reason for this is that it is a popular movement that is constantly reinventing itself.
Lawyer Yunus Ziyal dealt with the legal classification of the various measures that the state is using against the freedom movement. The §129 procedures are only the injection of the iceberg. The “structural investigations” made possible by the authorization to prosecute the PKK primarily serve to spy on the entire environment. The knowledge gained in this way is then often used to intimidate and harass Kurds and to threaten their existence in Germany with the help of residence and asylum law as well as the right of association and assembly.
The representative of FED-GEL took a look at the practice of persecution in Turkey and then also went into the current situation after the earthquake and before the upcoming elections. He stressed the need for a “third way” offered by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) as an alternative to the Islamo-fascist AKP/MHP regime and the Kemalist-led opposition alliance. It is time to bring the ailing Turkish state into a phase of democratization and thus tackle the solution of the Kurdish question.
Finally, the appeal was made not to leave the political prisoners alone here. In Germany there are currently twelve Kurdish activists in pre-trial or criminal detention. All inmates are happy to receive mail from outside. Process support is also important. Participation in the negotiations is not only a sign of solidarity for the prisoners, but also offers a lesson in German justice. The addresses of the detainees and the current trial dates are published in the Azadî information service.
Tags: Repression Kurds focus March Nuremberg