14 July 2014
Message from the Secretary General of the Socialist International to the meeting at the House of Commons in London marking the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Kurdish leader Dr. A.R. Ghassemlou
Yesterday, July 13, marked the 25th anniversary of the assassination in Vienna of Dr Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, the Secretary General of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, along with his comrade, Abdullah Ghaderi Azar and Iraqi professor Fadhil Rassoul.
Three weeks before, Dr Ghassemlou had headed the PDKI’s delegation to the 18th Congress of the Socialist International, which brought together leaders and representatives of social democratic, socialist and labour parties from different parts of the world, held in Stockholm. His vision, commitment and dedication to the cause of the Kurdish people, and indeed for democracy and human rights in Iran, was well known to our progressive movement. He was a man highly respected, who through his efforts and courage made the struggle of the Kurdish people for rights and freedoms a common cause with that of the quest for democracy and for the rights and the freedoms of all people.
Many of those who during that time were living the democratic revolutions which ushered in a new era for the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe; or those living the struggles for democracy in other parts of the world, like in Latin America, Africa, and in Asia, came into contact and got to know better the reality, hopes and aspirations of the Kurdish people in their various countries through the efforts of leaders such as Dr Ghassemlou, and others such as his successor as Secretary General of the Party, Dr Sharafkandi, later also tragically assassinated, on 17 September 1992, following his participation at the 19th Congress of the Socialist International in Berlin.
We in the Socialist International know well from our own experiences and struggles around the world, that it would not be possible to build a society of rights for all people if there is no recognition of all the diverse groups within society, with guarantees of equal rights for all citizens. We know from our experiences that the common way forward for democracy to flourish and for peace to be achieved is the respect of all freedoms for all groups. Without guarantees of equal rights for all, space is created for sectarian divisions and extremism to grow.
As we can see today, in many conflicts that affect countries in different parts of the world, it is always innocent people who suffer the results of these divisions. That is why in our International, Kurdish parties have a place, as we recognise that the Kurdish people have to be granted their rightful voice in the decisions which affect the future of their country.
That is why we stand alongside the Kurdish people and all the democrats who are today seeking a future of peace and freedom in Iran. For the same reason, we have firmly rejected the creation of an Islamic caliphate in Iraq and called for a government of national unity with guarantees of pluralism based on equal rights for all citizens, including of course the Kurdish people. With those same principles and values in mind, we are standing today alongside the Kurds, as indeed all groups who are suffering in Syria, mobilised in the struggle for freedom and democracy.
Solidarity is an expression of our identity and has always guided our proposals and policies. It directs us in our fight for equality and in our struggles against all forms of discrimination and oppression.
For the members of the Socialist International, Dr Ghassemlou’s legacy is a key component on the road to advancing today’s efforts to strengthen and consolidate the voice of the Kurdish people in his native country, as everywhere. The work that he set out to do is not yet accomplished and our International will continue to denounce all forms of repression against the Kurds and to support multilateral efforts to advance and protect, in accordance with international law, the rights, security and improvement of the living conditions of the Kurdish people – all of which Dr Ghassemlou represented and represents today.
Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, President of Mali
The Socialist International warmly congratulates H.E. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on his re-election as the President of Mali. During his first mandate, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita implemented an agenda to strengthen democracy, ensure peace and improve the living conditions of the citizens of Mali... Read more
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13 SEPTEMBER 2016
Despite the election of opposition parliamentarians for the first time in twenty years, legislative elections in Belarus have not delivered true democracy to the people of that country. The Socialist International reiterates its firm support and solidarity to all those in Belarus engaged in the fundamental struggle for democracy and human rights. On 11 September 2016, Belarusian citizens went to the polls for parliamentary elections, the results of which are now known. The new parliament contains two opposition MPs, the first elected since 1996, but remains overwhelmingly dominated by those who support President Alexander Lukashenko....
22 JULY 2016
The Socialist International firmly denounces and condemns the sentencing of Ousainou Darboe, leader of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) of Gambia, an SI member party, along with 18 other party members and sympathisers, to 3 years imprisonment, having been arbitrarily detained since 16 April 2016 following a peaceful demonstration. The SI utterly deplores this travesty of justice and calls for their immediate release. We equally call on the international community to join forces in denouncing the conduct of the dictatorial regime of Yahya Jammeh and calling for an end to the continuing violation of human rights in that country...
- ♦ 23 August 2016
- With great sorrow the SI has learned of the death while in jail of Ebrima Solo Kurumah, UDP party member, the second such case in five months. The SI calls for an urgent full investigation into the circumstances of this tragic death. The Socialist International remains extremely concerned about the lives of all those protestors incarcerated as we have now seen two political prisoners of this group who have lost their lives in the last few months.
16 JULY 2016
The Socialist International condemns the attempt by military forces in Turkey last night and in the early hours of this morning, to bring down the legitimately elected government of the country. Our organisation wholeheartedly shares and fully supports the clear and unequivocal statements made by the leaders of the CHP and the HDP, members of our global political family, as the coup attempt unfolds. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the CHP, said that the country had suffered previous coups and these developments should never be repeated in Turkey, adding that his party fully depends on the free will of the people, indispensable to Turkey’s parliamentary democracy…
12 April 2016
The Socialist International denounces the grave disregard of the sovereign will of the Venezuelan people and the usurpation of powers by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) of the country, which yesterday declared as unconstitutional the Amnesty and National Reconciliation Law that had been approved by a majority in the National Assembly on 29 March this year. The resounding electoral victory in the elections to the National Assembly at the beginning of December 2015 was based on a clear proposal...
CIS, Caucasus and Black Sea
04 APRIL 2016
The Socialist International has followed with great concern the hostilities and attacks that have taken place in the last 48 hours between Armenians and Azerbaijanis with a regrettable loss of numerous lives. Our International calls for an immediate ceasefire and for an end to these hostilities, and at the same time reiterates the urgent need for a resumption of dialogue within the framework of the Minsk Group, a body accepted by both Armenia and Azerbaijan and recognised by the multilateral organisations, to resolve through negotiation and in accordance with the principles of international law...
22 FEBRUARY 2016
In recent years the people of Africa have continued advancing and moving forward democratic governance in an important number of countries of the region. Today, more and more people in that continent enjoy freedoms and rights, a precondition for progress, development and peace. Members of the Socialist International in a good number of countries in Africa have been protagonists and actors of an era of change that has been bringing new opportunities and a new face to the political life of the continent. Nevertheless, authoritarianism, oppression and other evils of the past still linger in the political life of some of the countries in the region...
28 March 2016
The Socialist International expresses its solidarity with the people of Pakistan as they come to terms with the horrendous terrorist attack carried out yesterday near Lahore. Over 70 people lost their lives as they enjoyed a Sunday afternoon in the park, including numerous women and children, and over 300 were injured. We strongly denounce this violent act, as we have other such terrorist attacks in Pakistan and elsewhere. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of the deceased and our sympathy is with all those injured and suffering as a result...
Standing with Colombia for peace
26 SEPTEMBER 2016
The Socialist International greets the historic signing today in Cartagena of the Peace Accord between the government of Colombia and the FARC, successfully concluding a process which began more than four years ago in Havana. Our International is among those accompanying this significant event, maintaining its commitment and support for peace in Colombia today and for the post-conflict period of disarmament and reconciliation.
02 DECEMBER 2016
SI condemns terrorist attack against member party KDP-Iran
21 DECEMBER 2016
The Socialist International firmly condemns the terrorist attack against the party headquarters in Arbil of the SI member Kurdistan Democratic Party, KDP-Iran, which took place on 20 December. The attack was carried out as party members were leaving a memorial ceremony honouring former party leader Abdulrahman Ghassemlou, who was assassinated in Vienna in 1989.
Four party members, a member of the youth organisation and a security guard died in the attack and several others were seriously injured.
Our International extends its deepest condolences to the families and comrades of those killed. The SI reiterates its strong solidarity with all members of the KDP-Iran at this difficult time.
4 NOVEMBER 2016
The Socialist International firmly deplores the arrest this morning of Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, Co-Chairs of the People’s Democratic Party (Halkların Demokratik Partisi), HDP, an SI member party, and the detention of 11 other HDP parliamentarians, in a further blow to Turkish democracy following earlier crackdowns and restrictions on the freedoms and rights of the citizens of that country. The HDP is the third largest political party in Turkey and won seats in parliament in June 2015 despite the existing 10% threshold, and again in the elections re-called in November 2015. In May this year, the immunity that MPs usually hold from prosecution was removed from HDP members. Party members have subsequently protested against repeated raids of their homes and offices...
21 OCTOBER 2016
The Socialist International deplores the decision adopted yesterday, Thursday 20 October, by the Electoral National Council (CNE) of Venezuela to postpone until a new judicial order the process of collection of 20% of signatures required to activate a recall referendum on the government of Nicolás Maduro scheduled for 26, 27 and 28 of this month. In its public declaration, the CNE bases its decision on compliance with the Constitution and observance of precautionary measures adopted by the criminal courts of Valencia, San Fernando Apure, Aragua and Bolivar, after accepting complaints for alleged electoral crimes against the political forces which are members of the Mesa de Unidad Democrática (MUD), an alliance which includes member parties of the SI, in the process to activate the recall referendum...
14 OCTOBER 2016
As the world continues to witness the tragedy taking place in Syria, the Socialist International calls for renewed concerted efforts by the international community to stop the carnage and human suffering which has intensified following the breakdown last month of the brief ceasefire that lasted less than a week. The Syrian people are hostages to a conflict that transcends their country and whose solution today lies primarily outside their borders. According to United Nations figures, some 13.5 million Syrians are today requiring humanitarian assistance…