Kurds demand Ocalan's release

Issue 

Kurds demand Ocalan's release

By James Vassilopoulos

CANBERRA — Four hundred Kurds protested against the kidnapping and cruel treatment of Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), outside the federal parliament on March 9.

The protesters demanded the Australian government do all that it can to force the Turkish authorities to release Ocalan and, if that fails, to have the treason trial conducted in a neutral country where the Kurdish leader could get a fair trial. The same demand was presented to foreign minister Alexander Downer at a meeting that afternoon.

The Kurdish protesters came mainly from Sydney, but also from as far away as Melbourne and Brisbane. The protest was organised by supporters of the PKK and Kurds in a new group called Committee Defending the Rights of Kurdish People.