nsnbc : The Indictments Chamber in the Belgian capital Brussels has exonerated from prosecution all those standing trial in a case sounding the activities of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK).
The Court ruled, unequivocally, that the conflict between the Turkish State and Kurds in Turkey is “an internal conflict” and that the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) as such, cannot be considered to be a terrorist organization.
Belgium’s Federal Judicial Authorities had requested that 36 individuals and companies be tried by a criminal court on charges of taking part in terrorist activity. In October 2015 the Judicial Authorities opened a case at the Brussels pre-trial chamber as they believed that the PKK was recruiting young Kurds in Belgium and elsewhere in Western Europe to train them to fight in the armed struggle.
In addition to this the PKK was believed to be involved in the trade in forged identity documents and collecting funds. There have been complaints that the PKK was obtaining “donations” from Kurds and Kurdish-owned businesses in Belgium under duress.
In November 2016 the Brussels pre-trial chamber had exonerated them from prosecution as the Turkish-Kurdish conflict should be viewed as an armed struggle and the terrorism laws.
The Judicial Authorities then took the case to the case to the Indictments Chamber. The Indictments Chamber has now ruled that the PKK is not a terrorist organisation, but a party in the civil war in Turkey.
Consequently Belgian anti-terrorism law doesn’t apply. The barrister acting for the Kurds Jan Fermon told journalists that the Brussels court is the first in Europe to rule that the conflict in Turkey is a civil war.
Turkey designates the PKK as a terrorist organization and is waging an armed conflict against the PKK in Turkey as well as in the Kurdistan Autonomous Region in northern Iraq.
Turkey is also waging a war against the Syrian – Kurdish PYD and its armed wings, the YPG and YPJ. Turkey considers the latter as terrorist organizations allied and on par with the PKK.
The USA, meanwhile, cooperate with the YPG within the framework of the coalition against ISIS ad within the Syrian Democratic Forces. PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan is being held in prison in Turkey. The conditions of his detention have raised grave concerns in Turkey and abroad.
CH/L – nsnbc 17.09.2017