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6 to 9 months wait for the ruling on delisting the PKK

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6 to 9 months wait for the ruling on delisting the PKK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:03 pm

European Court of Justice to rule on delisting the PKK

The lawsuit filed to the European Court of Justice, demanding the lifting of the PKK from the EU's list of terrorist organizations, opens on Monday 16 April

The PKK has been on the EU's list of terrorist organizations since 2002. Acting on behalf of PKK leaders Murat Karayılan and Duran Kalkan, the Prakken d'Oliveira Law Office in the Netherlands has presented a file every six months when the new list is written and then the file went to the European Court of Justice.

Next Monday the trial will open aiming at lifting the PKK from the list of terrorist organisations. Zübeyir Aydar, member of the KCK Executive Council, and Mahmut Şakar, attorney of the International Association for Human Rights and Democracy (MAF-DAD), talked about the past and possible consequences of the case.

"The basic demand in this case is that the PKK should be removed from the terrorist list," said Lawyer Sakar, adding: "So far, the process has walked through mutual internal correspondence at administrative court". Now an hearing will be held on 16 April. There will be one hearing. The court will then announce its decision on the cancellation application. The decision is expected to be announced next September or October and the parties have the right to appeal. Attorneys representing the PKK officials will be present at the meeting.

Sakar said: "The European Union Council, the European Commission and Britain have been involved in the case to keep the PKK on the list. in fact, countries like the UK have been acting almost on behalf of Turkey to keep the PKK on this list”.

KCK Executive Council Member Zübeyir Aydar underlined that accusing the PKK of being a "terrorist organization" and keeping the PKK on the EU's list of terrorist organizations is an "unfair and political decision”, adding that: "The PKK is on that list at the request of Turkey".

Aydar underlined that indeed by the criteria defining a “terrorist” organization, the PKK cannot be listed as such. Indeed, he said, “who is attacking Kurds? Turkey is: whether in Turkey, or Rojava or even in Paris”, he added referring to the killing on 9 January 2013 of three kurdish women politicians and activists in the French capital, Sakine Cansiz, Fidan Dogan and Layla Saylemez.

"In 34 years of war - said Aydar - Turkey have used all heavy weapons against Kurds. They used tanks, planes, helicopters, balls, all heavy weapons were used in this war. They even used chemical weapons. Turkey is a country with the highest number of political prisoners in the world, where many journalists are in prison. There is no right, no law. Kurds have the right to defend themselves against such a country. We want the court to confirm this”.

Should the Court reject the demands of lawyers, said Sakar: “This would be a gift to Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan and his work, something like rewarding him”.

Sakar also pointed out that “the court can address this historic issue on the terrorist discourse with a new language that will serve as a democratic solution. A positive decision will provide a different scenario, especially in view of the rightful and legitimate demands of the Kurdish people”.

It has to be reminded that in Belgium a Court ruled that the PKK is not a terrorist organization in the case against Zübeyir Aydar, Remzi Kartal, and other 36 people. The defense lawyers will bring this decision to the hearing in Luxembourg, next Monday.

"For the first time, a European court has ruled that the PKK is not a terrorist organization because there is a war in the country, and the PKK is one of the warring party" Şakar said, adding that the Luxembourg court should take this sentence into account in its own deliberation.

The European Court of Justice is the highest court in the European Union. The court consists of two parts. The General Court, which acts as a first-instance court, and the Court of Justice, which is also the appeal authority. The case filed for removal of the PKK from the list or terrorist organisations will be heard in the General Court.

Lawmakers and non-governmental members have been invited to assist to the hearing next Monday. The court is open to the public.

After the hearing, the lawyers will inform the press. The court will announce its decision on the removal application at a later date.

The address of the court
which will open on Monday, April 16th at 09:30 in Luxembourg:


    General Court Rue du fort Niedergrünewald

    Kirchberg

    L-2925 / Luxembourg
Last edited by Anthea on Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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6 to 9 months wait for the ruling on delisting the PKK

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Re: European Court of Justice to rule on delisting the PKK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:30 am

PKK case heard in CJEU

The case to remove the PKK from the European Union terror list was heard on Monday in the Court of Justice of the European Union. The verdict is expected to be announced in 6 to 9 months.

The case filed in the CJEU to remove the PKK from the European Union terror list was heard in Luxembourg on Monday. The verdict in the case is expected to be announced in 6 to 9 months. The panel of judges said, “Looking at the last decade, the PKK hasn’t carried out any visible ‘terrorist’ actions, but there is an insistence that it remain on this list,” while PKK’s defense lawyers said, “The hearing was positive, the verdict may be overturned.”

PKK has been on the EU list of terrorist organizations since 2002. The Prakken d’Oliveira legal bureau acting in the name of PKK administrators Murat Karayılan and Duran Kalkan had previously objected to the list, which is renewed every 6 months, and later a case was filed with the Court of Justice of the European Union. The case filed on May 1, 2014 with the demand to overturn the verdict to put the PKK on the ‘terror list’ was heard yesterday, following a 4-year long fight for justice and long standing correspondence.

The hearing started yesterday in the Court of Justice of the European Union, and lawyers Marieke Van Eik and Tamara Buruma presented their defense representing the PKK administrators. The European Council, the European Commission, the UK and France joined the case to demand the PKK remain on the list.

UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIMS

The panel of judges gave the first defense to the plaintiff’s counsel, who stated that the PKK should be removed from the ‘terror list’ as what has been experienced is not ‘terrorist actions’ but rather a ‘war’, and casualties have occurred due to said war. Lawyers stressed that the PKK had been put on the list on Turkey’s demand, and that the close to 70 allegations were based on articles on the Turkish media, they haven’t been investigated or clarified and only remained as claims.

PKK COMPLIES WITH THE RULES OF WAR

“It is clear how neutral Turkish press is,” said the lawyers, and added that several massacres committed by the state have been attributed to the PKK. “Despite the PKK condemning certain incidents, it is made to look like the PKK committed them. Looking at the incidents with civilian casualties, it can be seen that they were done to put the PKK in a difficult position,” said the defense lawyers and stated that the PKK complies with international laws and doesn’t go beyond the rules of war.

The lawyers stressed that Turkey has been fighting the PKK under the guise of “terrorism”, which has terrorized an entire people, and added that the Turkish state has been the one to cause civilian casualties.

THE UK, FRANCE AND THE COE ARE INVOLVED

Following the PKK administrators’ lawyers’ defense, the Council of Europe and European Commission officials took the stand. Both institutions argued that the PKK continues its actions and should remain on the terror list. The UK and France also stressed the need to have the PKK remain on the terror list.

WHAT IS THE REASON FOR THE INSISTENCE ON THE LIST?

After the defenses, lawyers answered questions by the panel of judges. When asked, “The European terror list is renewed every 6 months. Looking at the last decade, why do you insist on the PKK remaining on the list despite not having committed a visible terrorist act?” lawyers who argued the PKK should remain on the list had a hard time answering and attempted to defend their position through reiterating past actions.

The lawyers stated that their states had issued verdicts classifying the PKK as a terrorist organization and showed verdicts by France, the UK and the US as examples, but the panel said they don’t consider verdicts by states to be sufficient, and were asking the council what they thought on the matter. The lawyers tried to argue that “Even though the PKK doesn’t commit terrorist acts, there is a potential.”

PKK IS NOT A “TERRORIST ORGANIZATION”

Lawyers for the PKK administrators stated that the actions the PKK has carried out cannot be classified as terrorism, and that the PKK’s actions are targeted at military forces. Lawyers said, “It is not correct to explain acts between two military forces with terrorism,” and added that all of the PKK’s actions have been within the framework of self defense. They stated that the PKK, which has also sat down for peace talks with Turkey, is engaged in a national struggle, and that both Turkey and international powers have engaged with the PKK as interlocutors. Lawyers also underlined that, “The PKK cannot be classified as a terrorist organization due to their fight against terrorist ISIS. The court should take this into consideration.”

LAWYERS: “THE HEARING WAS POSITIVE”

Lawyers Marieke Van Eik and Tamara Buruma spoke to the ANF after the hearing and said, “The hearing was very positive, all the arguments we posed were discussed. The most important thing in this case is the discussion of whether there is or isn’t a right to utilize armed struggle against an oppressive regime.”

Lawyers said they explained to the court that the PKK’s actions can’t be explained with “terrorism” and continued: “Legally, we posed a good argument to have the verdict assessed well and a good verdict to be issued. One of the judges in particular asked the Council lawyer whether they had any efforts to determine whether the PKK had the potential and intent to commit terrorist acts. It was an important question. The Council says the PKK ban is due to a verdict issued in the UK in 2001. We talked about how a lot has changed since 2001, and especially talked about the peace process. We talked about the fight against ISIS, and stated that their reasoning is invalid.

VERDICT COULD BE OVERTURNED

We think two verdicts will be overturned after this hearing. The first is the verdict to put the PKK on the list in 2014. And the Council considered even military clashes as terrorist acts when listing the reasons in 2015. But the impression we have is that the judges don’t think in this line. They posed a view opposite to the views of the Council of Europe.

PKK IS SENSITIVE TO CIVILIANS

We stressed that the PKK has been very sensitive towards civilians, and have strived to carry out their actions without affecting civilians. We stressed that they have taken precautions to avoid civilian casualties. We stressed that the occasional deficiencies in the organizations won’t put the onus on the organization, and that an organization can’t be punished for the acts of an individual. We also stated that it should be taken into consideration that the PKK has punished those who aren’t sensitive to civilians.

EUROPEAN STATES SHOULD COMPLY WITH THE VERDICT

If the verdict to come out of this court comes with good justification, it will create important outcomes. All states in Europe need to comply with the verdict. All verdicts by national courts since 2014 will be overturned. The wronged will get their rights back.

Of course Kurds shouldn’t rely entirely on the outcome of this case. They should continue with the lobbying efforts to have the PKKK removed from the terror list.”

The Court of Justice of the European Union is expected to announce the verdict on whether to remove the PKK from the EU terror list in 6 to 9 months.
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