News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
(ANF/ MURAT KUSEYRİ – STOCKHOLM) The proclamation of autonomy by the people of Rojava is currently being debated in the Swedish parliament. The debate follows the release of the Swedish Government’s 2014 Foreign Policy Declaration as different parties within parliament are offering their views on Swedish foreign policy. Bodil Cebellos, the foreign-policy spokesperson of the Environmental Party/The Greens, referred to the proclamation of Democratic Autonomy in Rojava by saying that it could “cut the Gordian knot in Syria.”
Rojava is one of many topics currently under discussion, including the crisis in Ukraine, NSA spying in Europe and Swedish government cooperation, and the Swedish role in NATO operations in Afghanistan.
In Turkey 70 Journalists Remained Imprisoned.
Among other issues that came up on the agenda was the lack of press freedoms in Turkey. Desiree Pethrus, an MP from Christian Democratic Party (a government partner), reminded her colleagues that 70 journalists remained imprisoned in Turkey. Amineh Kakabaveh, an MP from the Left Party, also drew attention to violations of human rights in both Iran and Turkey. Kakabaveh said that Iran is trying to establish a dialog with the West at the same time that it uses oppression, torture and executions against its own opposition. Kavabaveh brought up the question of whether or not Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bidlt would bring up women’s rights, freedom of expression, and the rights of the Kurds in his meetings with Iranian officials.
Women Should Be Included In The Peace Process, Rights Should Be Given To The Kurds
Kakabaveh went on to say that women of Kurdistan, Syria and Palestine should be included in any peace process in order to build an enduring peace in the Middle East, and that a responsibility fell to Sweden to help in this process. She also pointed to how despite the fact that Sweden often speaks of oppressed peoples, human rights, peace and security that arms trafficking also constituted an important component of that policy. She also said that Kurds must be given rights in Turkey.
No Kurdish or Assyrian Representation at Geneva-2
Christian Democratic Party MP Robert Halef spoke of how there was no Kurdish or Assyrian representation at Geneva-2, and said that if a lasting peace is to be built a new conference should take place in which these peoples would be represented. Halef also spoke of atrocities committed in Syria by al-Qaeda requested a call for a cease-fire from the UN Security Council under which prisoners would also be released.
Bodil Cebellos, an MP from the Green Party, pointed to the double standard in Sweden’s foreign policy, saying “We say one thing but do another. The government says that it is on the side of the people in the process of democratization in the Middle East but in reality it is arming those oppressing the people. The government says that it its climate policy is at the vanguard but in reality it breaks the promises that it has made to the UN. The government says that it is on the side of freedom of expression but it is helping the USA collective listening programs.”
Autonomy Is Also A Solution To The Syrian Problem
Cebellos, who has her party’s foreign policy spokesperson had only 20 minutes to address parliament, said “Here I wanted to speak more about Syria and to address the democratic autonomy proclaimed by the Kurdish people who are attempting to determine their own fate. This is not only a question of the territorial integrity of a state’s borders but at the same time a solution to the Syrian problem. The formation of a federal state could cut the Gordian knot in Syria.”
Left Party MP Jacob Johnson, who only at 6 minutes to speak, spent almost his entire time addressing developments in Turkey and Kurdistan. Johnson reminded those present of the closure of the DTP which had much such gains in the 2009 local elections, the imprisonment of thousands of Kurdish activists, and the continuing assaults on the BDP.
KCK Courts Against EU Agreements On Human Rights
Finally Johnson brought attention to the ongoing ‘KCK trials,’ saying that the special courts established to try them were in contradiction to the European constitution. He also pointed to recent attempts at curving freedom of expression and the independence of the judiciary, including the recently introduced internet law and the Law on the Organization of Judges and Prosecutors.
After he spoke Johnson gave a statement to ANF in which he said that although he was limited to 6 minutes the issue of the peace process in Turkey and the KCK trials have been scheduled for discussion on March 4th.