Leyla Zana Heads to Brussels To Receive Shakarov Human Rights Award

Wext: Thursday, 30.September. @ 00:00:00 CEST


Zaman-Sep 27, 2004- Former Democracy Party (DEP) deputy Leyla Zana, who was released from jail in June after the Turkish courts struck down her 15-year prison sentence, will travel to Brussels in October to argue that members of the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) should be granted amnesty by Turkey.

After Turkey received assurances that no obstacles remain on its way to European Union (EU) membership, Zana will try to convince Brussels to impose upon Turkey the condition of granting "political amnesty" to PKK members. Zana and her friends have been preparing this project for some time.

Zana's plans envisages Turkey being required to grant an amnesty to PKK militants by December 17, when a discussion date is expected to be given to Turkey at the EU summit. If amnesty is not feasible, then Zana will argue for an "enlarged penitence law" instead.

On June 9th four former DEP deputies --Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle, Orhan Erdogan, and Selim Sadak-- were released from jail after having served 10 years of a 15-year sentence. The four had been accused of being members of the PKK. Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul met Zana and her friends after their release and they exchanged messages of peace.

The four DEP members will meet with high-level EU officials in Brussels on October 12. Zana will also receive the Shakarov Human Rights Award at that time.

Zana plans to make a speech in the European Parliament during her trip and also participate in bilateral talks. The other DEP deputies will participate in an interactive forum in the EU Foreign Affairs Commission.

Leyla Zana's request for a meeting with EU Enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen has not been confirmed yet.

Source: Kurdistan Observer

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