Obstruction of the press conference for the publication of the international initiative “DEFEND KURDISTAN against Turkish occupation!”
On Monday, 14th June 2021, the press conference of the “Delegation for Peace and Freedom in Kurdistan” was held at the Mercury Hotel in Erbil/North Iraq at 9:00 CET, where the approx. 80 members from 14 countries proclaimed the international initiative “DEFEND KURDISTAN against Turkish occupation!”.
Pierre Laurent, Deputy President of the Senate of France, spoke on behalf of the delegation: “We are a peaceful and solidary peace delegation in solidarity with all the Kurdish people and we will build diplomatic pressure to stop the Turkish invasion of Southern Kurdistan.”
The delegation was prevented from holding their press conference in front of the United Nations regional office in Erbil by the security forces “Peshmerga” of the Kurdish autonomous government. They were not allowed to leave the hotel. Therefore, the press conference had to be delayed and was held in the hotel under difficult circumstances.
At the press conference, in addition to Pierre Laurent, speakers included Zagros Endazyarî from the Kurdish Center in Stockholm, Sweden; Lida Weerts, human rights activist from Norway; Dr. Mechthild Exo from Emden/Leer University of Applied Sciences in Germany; Rémy Pagani, former mayor of Geneva and Swiss deputy; Selin Gören for linksjugend [‘solid] from Germany; Erling Folkvord, journalist and former member of the North Swedish Parliament; and Zeyneb Murad from the Kurdish National Congress.
After the delegation tried to leave the hotel after the press conference, they were stopped one more time by the peshmerga, after which the delegates started a sit-in in front of the hotel.
“Three members of the delegation are still imprisoned at the airport in Erbil. We demand their immediate release. We interpret the fact that we are prevented from documenting the effects of the war by military forces as a sign of the injustice and lack of freedom that we are confronted with here. We want to meet civil society groups and those affected by the war from the villages. The science of the Jineologî is a science of free coexistence in gender relations, all social relations and in nature”, says Dr. Mechthild Exo, member of the Jineolojî Committee Germany and lecturer at the University of Emden/Leer about it.
You can find video and photo materials of today’s press conference, the sit-in before the hotel, and further material of the delegation at wetransfer.
The delegation is available via email or phone and will gladly respond to any further inquiries you may have. Direct interviews with participants from the various countries and regions of Germany are also possible.