Kurds in Armenia Urge Italy Not to Extradite Ocalan

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The "Council of the Kurdish Intelligentsia," the Armenian-Kurdish Friendship Society and the Kurdish chapter of the Armenian Writers Union staged a demonstration and a rally Monday urging Italy to not extradite Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan to Turkey

Following the demonstration–a statement from the participating groups was delivered to the United Nations Mission in Yerevan.

The statement strongly condemned the "anti-Kurdish policies of Turkey which has been waging a war against the Kurdish people on its territory for almost 15 years. During this time 3,500 Kurdish towns–villages and settlemen’s have been destroyed–thousands of civilians killed and millions deported."

The demonstration participants demanded that the Italian government should provide amnesty to the PKK leader and "condemn the genocide of the Kurdish people by the Turkish government and ensure the fundamental rights of the Kurdish people."

During a news conference later on Monday at the editorial office of the "Riya Taza" newspaper–the chairman of the Council of Kurdish Intelligentsia Amarike Sardar discussed a hunger-strike which began on November 9 by 50 Armenian Kurds who supported the aforementioned deman’s. He also read a statement from the Kurdish Parliament-In-Exile addressed to international media outlets and the international community.

Sardar said Kurds would take turns in continuing the hunger-strike until all their deman’s were met. He reiterated that there were no PKK camps in Armenia–as alleged by the Turkish media and authorities.

Sardar added that during recent visits by Turkish journalists–he was interviewed in what he termed "warm and friendly manner." He stated–however–that the published interviews in Turkey stated that the editorial office of Riya Taza served as a front for Kurdish training camps.

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