Freedom for a Kurdish activist sentenced to 3 years in prison for PKK links in Germany

DUSSELDORF,— A German court has sentenced a Kurdish political activist to 3 years in prison, the court said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Higher Court of Dusseldorf said Ahmet Celik., 52, who is already jailed for 1,5 years in Cologne, had organized PKK propaganda and “militants’ affairs” in North Rhine-Westphalia state, which includes the cities of Cologne and Dortmund, between June 2013 and July 2014.

Celik was charged with being an executive member of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) in Germany.

The Kurdish politician has given a struggle for the democratic and cultural rights of the Kurdish people in Germany since 1986. He has worked for various Kurdish institutions so far and served as the President of YEK-KOM (Federation of Kurdish Associations in Germany) between 2008 and 2011.

The PKK is considered as ‘terrorist’ organization by Ankara and U.S. The PKK continues to be on the blacklist list in EU despite court ruling in 2008 which overturned a decision to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its political wing on the European Union’s terror list.

However, Russia, Switzerland, India, China and the United Nations do not list the PKK as a terrorist organization.

Germany, which is home to around 700,000 Kurdish immigrants, outlawed the PKK in 1993.

The PKK took up arms in 1984 against the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to push for greater autonomy for the Kurdish minority who make up around 22.5 million of the country’s 79-million population.

A large Kurdish community in Turkey and worldwide openly sympathise with PKK rebels and Abdullah Ocalan, who founded the PKK group in 1974, and has a high symbolic value for most Kurds in Turkey and worldwide according to observers.

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