Protest over torture in Greece
Support was growing this week across the Greek labour movement for a demonstration this Saturday over the torture of Pakistani immigrants by the intelligence agency last summer.
The Greek Stop the War movement, the trade union coordinating centre in Athens and Pakistani immigrant groups called the march, which now has the backing of anti-capitalist, trade union and left wing forces.
Demonstrations were also due to take place in the cities of Salonika and Ioannina. The furore over revelations that 28 immigrants were illegally seized and beaten — with the connivance of Britain’s MI6 — has already forced the resignation of the deputy minister for public order.
“We aim to maximise the pressure on the Tory government,” says Panos Garganas of the paper Workers Solidarity. “The scandal is reigniting the mass feeling against Bush’s ‘war on terror’.”
In defence of Orhan Pamuk
The trial of acclaimed Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk is due to restart on 7 February over charges of “insulting Turkishness”.
He highlighted the massacre of the country’s Armenian minority during the First World War. Denying the scale of the slaughter has been central to the chauvinist ideology of the Turkish state.
Yet, despite efforts by the authorities to whip up jingoism over the case, the majority of people in Turkey are against the attack on Pamuk.
“It’s not just Pamuk,” says Yidiz Onen of the anti-war movement in Turkey, “There are 35 writers who are in the same position. The anti-war movement scored a major success three years ago when we prevented Turkey joining the war on Iraq.
“We’ve recently forced the government to admit it is complicit in CIA torture flights.
“Now there is petitioning in defence of Pamuk and there will be a protest outside the court.”
Campaign for Kurdish writer
Kurdish academics, intellectuals and organisations have launched a campaign for the release of Kamal Sayid Qadir who was jailed for 30 years after writing an article criticising Kurdish authorities in Iraq (Socialist Worker, 14 January).
The Free Dr Sayid Qadir campaign said, “The political power in Kurdistan wants to intimidate us all and, by making an example of Dr Kamal Qadir, to threaten every individual.”