Some are Heroes, While Others are Terrorists

Statement for the International Day of Action in Solidarity with Libre Flot

Original version, 4 April, 2022

On the 24th of February, the Russian military launched their war of conquest against Ukraine. This brutal war shocked many around the world. In response, thousands of foreigners flocked to Ukraine to participate in its defense. They are welcomed in Ukraine with open arms, regardless of their political background. Many around the world also celebrate them as heroes – particularly in the West, and even by some governments.

In the same season seven years ago, Kurdish-led forces liberated the area of Kobani in Northern Syria from Islamic State militants who inflicted unimaginable cruelty on the population. But it would take another four years until the Kurdish and Arab Syrian Democratic Forces captured their last stronghold on the east bank of the Euphrates in Deir ez-Zor. Like in present day Ukraine, many foreigners from China to Brazil traveled to Syria and Iraq and fought side by side with local forces to defeat this terrorist group. One of them was Libre Flot.

Libre Flot went to Syria due to his love for life, humanity, and freedom. He is a true internationalist, that he saw the suffering afar as his own suffering, the fight against tyranny in a foreign land as his own fight. Yet upon his return, he did not receive a hero welcome, but was followed by police and had his phone wiretapped. He was arrested on the 8th of December 2020, and based on fabricated claims and flimsy evidence, he was put into pre-trial detention and solitary confinement for 15 months, under the pretense of him being the leader of a terrorist organization.

While the French media and some politicians are singing praises of the volunteers fighting in Ukraine; and while the French military is still continuing their so-called anti-terrorism operation in Mail, Chad and other countries, Libre Flot – a person whose only crime was fighting against actual terrorists in a foreign land in defense of its people, was locked away in the Bois-d’Arcy prison until less than two weeks ago.

Libre Flot is persisting on his hunger strike in a hospital as we speak. He has already lost 16kg but remains strong in his spirit and is determined to fight for his freedom. Today, the 4th of April, is a symbolic day. Not only it is Libre Flot’s birthday; it is also the birthday of Abdullah Öcalan, who has been serving a life sentence in Turkey since 1999. Today, we are here not only to show our support for Libre Flot, but also to demonstrate our solidarity with all political prisoners across the world.

On this day, thirty-seven days since the start of his hunger strike, we demand an immediate end to this grotesque display of injustice. We demand the release of Libre Flot at once. We condemn this corrupted justice system that had taken away Libre Flot and many others freedom based on the presumptions of guilt. We condemn this logic of anti-terrorism that has been employed by the French state and many other states to silence political activists and dissidents. We condemn the French state’s hypocrisy, which shamelessly violates their own motto “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” and prosecutes those who actually fight for it.

Solidarity with Libre Flot!

Solidarity with all political prisoners!

No one is free until we are all free!

From an international group of people in solidarity with Libre Flot



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