Lawyer Robin Bronlet: European Penal Code cannot be used against PKK

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  • 15:35 2 February 2023
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DİYARBAKIR - Drawing attention to the 3 million signatures gathered for the recognition of the PKK's right to organize freely in Europe and referring to the decision of the Belgian Court of Cassation, Robin Bronlet, one of the lawyers of the Brussels Bar Association said: "the European Common Anti-Terrorism Criminal Legislation cannot be used against the PKK."
At the call of the International Justice Initiative for the Kurds, 3 million signatures were collected for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to be removed from the European Union's list of "terrorist organizations". The collected signatures were presented to the European Commission by the Belgian Peace Movement (Vrede), the Progressive International and the Dutch-based arts organization New World Summit. Robin Bronlet, one of the lawyers of the Brussels Bar Association, stated that the previous appeal decisions of the Belgian Court of Cassation regarding the PKK should set a precedent for all countries and made evaluations about the legal process.
Referring to Belgium's pressures on Kurdish institutions, Bronlet said: "As we have seen in the discussions about Sweden's accession to NATO, Turkey is putting pressure on European states by accusing Kurdish citizens of being terrorists. This was also the case in Belgium for a while. They have remained silent on the many criminal prosecutions that continue against Kurdish institutions, media and associations operating in Belgium.”
Pointing out that the exclusion of PKK from the anti-terrorism law is based on Belgian law implementing the European Directive, Bronlet said: “This means that the European Common Anti-Terrorism Criminal Legislation cannot actually be used against the PKK in other European countries with this case-law.”
Criticizing the repression in Turkey on the grounds of PKK membership, Bronlet continued as follows: “In addition to our testimonies regarding the prison conditions in Imrali, we met with some people who condemned the war crimes of the Turkish states, we heard about the chemical weapons attacks, we heard about the torture and mutilation of corpses, this is clearly evident. It is very shocking and we hope there will be a serious investigation into these crimes.”
At the same time that the EU re-listed the PKK, the Belgian Court of Appeal, in its decision announced on March 8, 2019, decided that the PKK was a "non-international armed conflict" and not a "terrorist organization".
MA / Eylem Akdağ - Ruken Polat

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