Film director Ken Loach, who has previously been outspoken in support of the London Kurdish Film Festival and the Kobane International Film Festival sends solidarity and support to the Kurdish hunger strikers.
His message, below, is jointly signed by screenwriter Paul Laverty and Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan committee member, Sarah Glynn
We want to express solidarity with over 7000 Kurdish hunger strikers and their demand that the imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan be allowed his basic human right to visits by his family and his lawyers.
For so many to be driven to hunger strikes for basic human rights is a collective act of principled courage. It puts to shame all those states who refuse to enforce International law and end the brutal oppression suffered by Ocalan.
The importance of Ocalan is recognised by the trade union movement. The Durham Miners’ Gala chose ‘Freedom for Ocalan’ as their international campaign in 2018. Ocalan’s ideas on grassroots democracy, multiculturalism, and women’s rights are central to the inspiring social changes being carried out in the predominantly Kurdish autonomous region of Northern Syria. He has repeatedly urged a peaceful and respectful settlement for the Kurds in Turkey, and, like Mandela in South Africa, is key to any future peace settlement.
Regardless of political allegiance, denial of a prisoner’s basic human rights can never be acceptable.
Yet again, our political institutions have failed, and it is left to ordinary people to take the lead in international solidarity.
Ken Loach, Paul Laverty, Sarah Glynn