Belgium is divided on PKK
by Roni Alasor
Brussels, 30 January 2020 - Middle East Diplomatic- While the Belgian Court of Cassation decided that the Kurdistan Workers` Party (PKK) cannot be classified as a terrorist organisation, the Belgium Government says that the juridical decision from highest court will not change its policy towards PKK.
On 4th March 2010, the Belgian Federal Prosecutor prosecuted 41 individual Kurdish politicians, journalists, lawyers and media workers for terrorism connected to PKK. Later the United States diplomatic cables called WikiLeaks showed clearly that “Belgium authorities were pushed hardly by Turkish and US embassies” to organise the biggest European action against PKK-supporters in Brussels and Denderleuw. The Turkish-US cooperation with Belgium authorities had already started many years before the March 2010 operation, according https://wikileaks.org/ (Search Keywords : PKK-BELGIUM-TURKEY-US).
The case which is called by the Kurds as a 10 years of criminalisation continued until 28th January 2020 when the Belgium’s Supreme Court put an end saying that it agrees with previous decisions by the Court of Appeal (Indictment Chambers) on 8t March 2019. Both the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal agree that PKK cannot be classified as a terrorist organisation with the Turkish “proves” but they classify PKK as a party in a non-international armed conflict (NIAC) in a war with the Turkish army. Belgium judges also say that the EU anti-terrorism legislation cannot be applied on PKK since it is a party in a non-international armed conflict or civil war where the use of legitimate military force is allowed.
But the Belgium government recalls that "The decision of the Court of Cassation is the expression of the judiciary, rigorously independent of the executive, and must be understood as such by all the actors. It must also be understood within its proper range: It in no way implies that PKK members can no longer be prosecuted in Belgium. They can be arrested at any time for crimes and other offenses under the Criminal Code of which they are guilty”.
In a press conference at International Press Club in Brussels, the Belgium lawyers, jurists, Kurdish politicians and members of the European Parliament from S&D, GUE/NGL and Greens/EFA, called upon Belgium and European governments to respect the Belgium juridical decision and to work for a peaceful solution between the Kurds and Turkey instead of taking part in the conflict.
Speaking at the press conference, Mr Jan Fermon, President of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, explained the background of the court decision, the US WikiLeaks documents regarding Turkish-US push against the Belgian state, the Kurdish-Turkish armed conflict and “terror list of EU”. Mr Fermon underlined that “The Belgium or EU Council decision on listing organisations in the EU terrorist list is mainly a political decision. The listing of the PKK was also a political decision that had to be revised”.
The members of the European Parliament from different political groups told that they would bring the case to the EU Parliament under discussions.
Remzi Kartal, the Co-chairman of Kongra Gel and Zübeyir Aydar, the member of the Executive Council of Kurdistan National Congress (KNK), both were accused in the so-called "Ariadne" case, expressed the wish that the verdict would change the criminalisation policy in Europe directed against tens of thousands of Kurdish people who have been directly or indirectly accused to be supporters of PKK. The Kurdish politicians underlined that the PKK was used by Erdogan as a pretext to attack the Kurdish people, to deny their fundamental human rights, arrest, torture and murder Kurds, even put the elected Kurdish mayors and parliamentarians in prison under this so-called “terror” accusations.
The Kurdish politicians also call to Belgium and EU to stop the criminalisation against Kurdish people who have paid a big price against islamist-terror gangs Daesh supported by the Turkish state which attacks Kurds also in Northern Syria Rojava and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
The Turkish terror teams and assassination plans against Kurdish politicians and journalists in Belgium and Europe right after the arrest in 2010 were also discussed during the meeting. Belgium and European security institutions are aware for those Turkish terror plans.