National liberation

The Israeli city of Tel Aviv is preparing to host the Eurovision Song Contest in May, following Israeli artist Netta Barzilai’s win in Eurovision 2018.

In response, BDS Australia, which support the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel, says: “As a serial human rights abuser, it is unacceptable for Israel to be the host country for a competition that, in SBS’s own words, is supposed to ‘bring people and cultures together’.

Four months after her release from an Israeli prison, Palestinian poet and photographer Dareen Tatour received the Oxfam Novib PEN Award for Freedom of Expression in The Hague in January.

While the political establishment in Ireland is determined to downplay the need for an Irish unity referendum, it is plainly obvious that the appetite for such a poll is growing by the day.

More than 60 international NGOs have added their voices in protest against the plan to hold the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv this year. They are now part of what is quickly becoming an international campaign by civil society groups seeking to move the event, which is scheduled for May, from Israel.

Campaigners for gay, lesbian and transgender rights have urged a boycott of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv in May.

Free West Papua campaigners rallied in several cities on February 12.

News and analysis on Catalonia's struggle for self-determination from Green Left Weekly's European bureau.

Leyla Guven, a member of Turkey’s parliament for the left-wing, Kurdish-led People’s Democratic party (HDP), launched an indefinite hunger strike on November 7 from Amed Prison, where she was held jailed by Turkey’s regime. Her demand is for an end to the isolation of jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan.

Jailed by Turkey since 1999, Ocalan is the recognised leader of the Kurdish liberation movement. Since 2011, his lawyers have been unable to met with him.

On February 12, the trial of 12 Catalan politicians and social movement leaders involved in the October 1, 2017 independence referendum is set to begin in the Spanish Supreme Court.

The leaders face sanctions as harsh as 25 year’s jail for their alleged offences — rebellion, sedition and embezzlement of public funds.

The 45th Friday of the Great March of Return took place on February 1. Each Friday since March 30 last year, Gazans have defied Israeli snipers — who have shot unarmed protesters, journalists and medics — to demand their right to return to their now Israeli-occupied lands.

The United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OCHA-OPT) said there have been more than 26,000 Palestinian injuries since the Great March began. Israeli injuries stand at 23.

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