Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. In this US election year, Democracy Now! is more important than ever. For 20 years, we’ve put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power. We lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. A generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar if you donate right now. That means when you give $10, your donation will be worth $20. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you every day.

Your Donation: $

Abdullah Ocalan Sentenced to Death

June 29, 1999
Story
WATCH FULL SHOW

Some weeping and appearing stunned, Kurds around Europe gathered peacefully today to demand freedom for Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan after a Turkish court sentenced him to death.

European cities had braced for violent protests, recalling the fury that erupted across Europe after Ocalan’s arrest in February. Thousands of Kurds rallied in the streets, stormed Western embassies and in some cases set themselves on fire.

Kurds assembled in Berlin, Amsterdam and Nicosia after the death sentence was issued on Imrali Island in Turkey, but the protests remained small and subdued today.

Both Britain and Germany expressed regret for the death sentence, and Britain is calling on the European Union to issue a call for a commutation of Ocalan’s death sentence.

Saying that Ocalan’s trial had violated both Turkish and international law, Amnesty International immediately called for a new trial.

Guests:

  • Kani Xulan, from the American Kurdish Information Network. Speaking from Washington, DC.
  • Mizgin En, European spokesperson for the National Liberation Front of Kurdistan, the umbrella group for Ocalan’s Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Speaking from London.
  • Heidi Wedel, Turkey researcher for Amnesty International. She has followed Ocalan’s trial, and immediately after the verdict was handed down today, Amnesty called for a new trial for the Kurdish rebel. Speaking from London.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.