Kurdish Group Slams France After Arrest of Member Adem Uzun

14/10/2012  RUDAW – image In a statement, the KNK said: “Since 1998, we have taken the path of protest and struggle to fight the international conspiracy against the Kurds: dem Uzun, a senior member of Kurdish National Congress (KNK), was arrested on Oct. 9 by French police.

Uzun was in France to attend a conference about the future of Kurds in Syria. The event was held at the French Parliament and included prominent Iraqi, Turkish and Syrian Kurds. The leadership council of the KNK has strongly condemned Uzun’s arrest and warned France about its actions.

In a statement, the KNK said: “Since 1998, we have taken the path of protest and struggle to fight the international conspiracy against the Kurds,” referring to jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan. The KNK said that over the past 14 years, they have proven that no one can stop their struggle to free Ocalan. “The superpowers, including France, have continued the international conspiracy against the Kurds. In 1920, Kurdistan was divided into four pieces and France played an important role in that,” the statement continued.

It went on to say that the Kurdish nation has been facing state terror since the 1990s and has responded by engaging in a struggle for freedom. “In the meantime, France is siding with occupiers, looters, mass murderers and now they are targeting Kurdish politicians,” the KNK said.

The statement claimed that, because France has identified the Kurdish struggle as “terrorist,” it has arrested many Kurdish politicians and held them in prison on fabricated charges such as drug trafficking.

The KNK described these acts as lies and demonstrative of France’s “hostility towards Kurds.” It also said that arresting Uzun, who has spent most of his life in Europe and pursued diplomatic struggle for Kurdish rights, is an extension of this hostility. The KNK also noted that it had warned France in the past about its “oppression and hostile attitude,” but that, despite a change in administration, their attitude towards Kurds was the same.

“We call on the state of France again to abandon its hostile attitude. If France continues, then the free Kurdish movement and the Kurdish nation will use their right to respond and they will be impelled to act against the interests of France. Therefore, before it reaches that level of escalation, we call on the French state to cease its hostile and unfriendly policies against the free struggle of Kurds,” the KNK statement read.

The KNK also used the incident to draw attention to the issue of education in Kurdish, declaring Turkey’s ban on the right to education in a native language a neglect of human rights.

The statement said: “The mother tongue cannot be chosen; it starts at birth. Therefore, the right to education in a native language is not negotiable and is a universal human right. When there is no education in the native language, there is assimilation and the mass-killing of a culture.”