Sunday, May 2, 2010

Dutch embassy monitors Kurdish issue in Turkey

Rudaw - The Dutch embassy follows the Kurdish issue closely in Turkey, says the Dutch Foreign Ministry in an answer to Dutch MP Harry van Bommel about the court case launched against Leyla Zana.

Leyla Zana was sentenced to more than 13 years imprisonment for her speeches about the Kurds. According to the Turkish court she made propaganda for ‘an illegal organization’.

The Dutch Foreign Ministry argues that freedom of speech is very important, as far political speech doesn’t incite hatred or violence. Representatives of the Dutch embassy repeatedly go to court cases against Kurdish activists to ensure fair trials. “Ensuring fundamental rights of citizens, including a fair trial, is a starting point. In addition there is continuing contacts with activists that support the rights of the Kurdish community.”

The Dutch socialist MP also asked the Dutch government to sent high representatives to Newroz celebrations as a Dutch sign of support for freedom of expression for representatives of the Kurdish people in Turkey. The Dutch Foreign Ministry didn’t rule out participation of Dutch representatives in Kurdish new year celebrations. “Participation of EU-partners will be addressed in the meetings of the EU-Heads of Mission in Ankara.”

© Rudaw