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Thousands of Kurds demand justice for activists killed in Paris

Ⓒ AFP – CHRISTOPHE SIMON – | Several thousand Kurds demonstrate in Paris on January 6, 2018 to demand “truth” and “justice” on the assassination in 2013 in the French capital of three Kurdish activists, Sakine Cansiz, Fidan Dogan and Leyla Soylemez

Several thousand Kurds demonstrated Saturday in Paris to demand “truth” and “justice” on the assassination in 2013 in the French capital of three Kurdish activists, denouncing the “silence” of the French authorities on this case.

“Five years of silence, five years of denial of justice, five years of impunity”, proclaimed a large banner showing the smiling portraits of the three activists and carried at the head of the procession by several Kurdish women with serious faces.

“Erdogan, assassin!” Chanted the crowd many times the day after the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Paris, which was received by French President Emmanuel Macron.

This parade in the streets of Paris brought together protesters from several European countries, especially from Germany.

It took place five years after the assassination of Sakine Cansiz, 54, one of the founders of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Fidan Dogan, 28, and Leyla Saylemez, 24, killed on 9 January 2013 several bullets in the head at the headquarters of the Kurdistan Information Center, in the 10th district of Paris.

In this case, the only suspect, the Turkish Omer Güney, died in prison in late 2016 before appearing.

The French investigators had pointed out the “involvement” of members of the Turkish secret service, MIT, in this triple murder, without appointing sponsors.

Turkish media had in particular circulated a document presented as an “order of mission” of the MIT for Omer Güney.

MIT had officially denied any involvement in January 2014.

Ali Dogan, 33, brother of Fidan Dogan, told AFP on Saturday parade alongside other family members of activists “no longer have hope” in France on this issue.

“I watched on television the press conference between Erdogan and Mr. Macron yesterday, it’s sad that the president did not mention the murder of my sister (…) it seems that we are hiding things and France has not wanted to divulge information to preserve its interests “in relation to Turkey, he continued.

Agit Polat, representative of the Kurdish Democratic Council in France (CDK), organizer of this event, denounced the fact that none of the families of the victims “were received in five years by the French authorities”.

For his part, Didier Le Reste, elected from the French Communist Party (PCF) to the Paris Council for the Xth arrondissement, who participated alongside other PCF elected representatives at the event, considered that the reception in Paris of Mr. Erdogan the eve of this rally was a “provocation vis-à-vis the Kurdish people and families of murdered activists,” he told AFP.

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