Belgian court rules PKK activities ‘armed conflict,’ not terrorism

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PKK supporters stage a protest against Turkey with Belgium's permit at Schuman Square in Brussels, Belgium on May 27, 2016.

A Brussels criminal court ruled on Thursday that charges against persons alleged to have carried out activities with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) cannot be classified as terrorism since the acts were part of an armed conflict.

The court made a judgment in the case of 36 people accused of membership in a terrorist group and carrying out terrorist activities and decided that the PKK’s activities cannot be described as terrorism but rather an “armed campaign.”

The decision was handed down as part of a trial of Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) members in which 36 people were accused of recruiting minors in Belgium and other Western countries to take them to PKK training camps in Iraq and Greece in 2010.

The case has been going on for a decade with an investigation first launched in 2006. The federal prosecutor has the option of appealing the court’s decision.

The KNK, an umbrella group of Kurdish political and social organizations, is a subsidiary institution of the terrorist organization the PKK. which is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and the US.

In a statement on Thursday the KNK welcomed the decision and said, “This resolution recognizes that a war is going on in Turkey and that the allegations of the Turkish state, saying that the Kurds are terrorists, is false.”

 

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