International Initiative
Freedom for Ocalan – Peace in Kurdistan
P.O. Box 100511, D-50445 Koeln
Telephone: +49 221 130 15 59
Fax: +49 221 139 30 71

Cologne, 1 March 2007

"We shall kill him piecemeal" - A threat that has come true

Now it is official: The lawyers of the imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan hold evidence in their hands indicating that their client is being poisoned with heavy metal compounds. Suspicions in this direction are not new, but now a scientific analysis is available which suggests a murderous intention is behind the numerous health problems of the detainee.

The malicious assault on life and health is not even concealed. During the debate on the lifting of the death penalty in 2002 one argumet was, öcalan would not be killed "just once, but every day". In 2003 the then secretary general of the National Security Council, Tuncer Kilic, declared that they would "kill him piecemeal".

The potentially catastrophic consequences of this state-run attempted murder are obvious: not only the Kurdish leader, the relations between Kurds and Turks are being poisoned - with deadly consequences. Military operatins are already conducted on a daily basis against a guerilla that has been adhering to a unilateral cease-fire for five months. It doesn't bear thinking about what might happen if the conflict is going to escalate now.

The European states are complices in this nefarious act. For years they have been silent on the unique isolation conditions of the prominent inmate which have been criticized harshly several times by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT). It is these very isolation conditions that prevent the access of independent doctors to the island.

But staying silent is not the only way Europe backs the Turkish state. The latest decision of the Committee of Ministers of the Coucil of Europe to close the Ocalan file regardless the fact that the retrial the European Court for Human Rights demanded has not taken place, can only be understood as a "keep it up!" to Turkey. Howder "keep it up" in this case is nothing else but assistance to state-run murder.

Turkey must immediately permit independent obervers access to the island fortress Imrali. The only way of dispelling the justified current and future concerns about the life of the Kurdish leader supported by millions is to put an end to his isolation and to shut down Imrali.

Europe, never getting tired when it comes to critisizing Guantanamo and the CIA rendition flights, has to eventually realize the European Guantanamo in the Marmara Sea and press for its closure. Especially the European Anti-Torture Committee CPT bears a high responsibility. Its re-visit to the island is long overdue.

More than everything else Europe needs a change of policy in the Kurdish question. Appeasing Turkey is the wrong strategy for solving the Kurdish question and supporting a democratic development of Turkey. To look away if state terrorism happens aggravates conflicts and escalates the bloodshed - Saddam Hussein is a good example.

But first of all the life of the Kurdish leader has to be secured. Who is poisoning Ocalan? How can he be treated? Are other toxic materials involved apart from the established ones? Are radioactive materials involved? All these disturbing questions have to be enlightened - for the sake of peace, democracy and human rights.