One million signatures for the release of Abdullah Ocalan, the legitimate leader of the Kurdish People.
Millions of Kurds in the Middle East, like the Palestinians and like the majority of South Africans under apartheid, have for decades had to endure the dispossession of their land, the systematic stripping away of their human rights and the suppression of their culture and dignity. The Kurds have been victims of massive human rights abuses, particularly in Iraq and Turkey.
Popular Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, is incarcerated on a prison island, as Nelson Mandela was. Ocalan was en route to seek political asylum in South Africa in 1999, when he was abducted in Kenya by Western intelligence agents and handed over to Turkey. He has been a prisoner for 11 years.
The Kurdish Human Rights Action Group, under the leadership of Justice Essa Moosa, is stepping up its efforts to secure the release of Abdullah Ocalan and bring about a resolution of the Kurdish question through peaceful negotiation. In recent months, many human rights activists have put their weight behind this cause and linked up with similar groups around the world.
The million signature campaign is one of several initiatives being undertaken.
Please read, sign and circulate among family, friends and associates. At most, it will take a few minutes of your time. But for Abdullah Ocalan, hundreds of political prisoners and millions of Kurdish people, it could make the world of difference.
Let us keep alive the spirit of a powerful rallying call during international struggle against apartheid %u2013 AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL!
Whereas Abdullah Ocalan was en route to South Africa to seek political asylum in February 1999;
And whereas his effort was frustrated when on 15 February 1999 he was intercepted by certain intelligence agencies in Kenya, kidnapped, blindfolded and handed over to Turkish authorities;
And whereas he was tried and sentenced to death in an unfair trial before a semi-military court but the sentence was subsequently commuted to life imprisonment;
And whereas the European Court of Human Rights subsequently found that his trial before the said tribunal in Turkey was unfair;
And whereas Abdullah Ocalan is to the Kurdish people what President Mandela was to the oppressed people of South Africa;
And whereas Abdullah Ocalan's contribution to the peace process in Turkey is vital for the peace process in the entire Middle East;
Now therefore we call upon the Prime Minister of Turkey to immediately release him from prison to enable him to contribute to the resolution of the Kurdish question in Turkey and to a lasting peace between the Turkish people and the Kurdish people!