Thousands attend funeral of three Kurds killed in Paris shooting | Racism News

A suspected xenophobic gunman killed two men and a woman at a Kurdish cultural center last month.

With tears and cries of “Martyrs live forever”, thousands of Kurds from across Europe have come to the outskirts of Paris to say goodbye to three of their loved ones who were killed in a tragedy. close. December attack in the French capital.

Buses were chartered to bring people from across France and several neighboring countries to a political funeral in Villiers-le-Bel, north of Paris.

The coffins of three people – a woman and two men – are wrapped in the flags of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdish-controlled territory of Rojava in northern Syria.

Crowds watched the funeral on giant screens set up in a parking lot, projecting coffins surrounded by wreaths beneath a portrait of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, who is serving a joint sentence. body on a prison island off the coast of Istanbul.

Police and security volunteers were stationed outside a hall rented for Tuesday’s funeral.

A suspected xenophobic gunman killed three Kurds on December 23. The victims were shot inside and in front of the center of Ahmet-Kaya, a cultural institution of the Kurdish community in the 10th district of Paris. .

The three victims were identified as Abdurrahman Kizil; singer and political refugee Mir Perwer; and Emine Kara, a leader in the Kurdish Women’s Movement in France.

William Malet69 years old, formally charged in the December 26 shooting. He told investigators he had a “pathological” hatred for foreigners and wanted to “kill migrants,” prosecutors said.

Finger pointing at Turkey

Malet, a retired train driver, has previous convictions for assault and illegal possession of a weapon. He just got out of a year of detention because of a sword attack at a migrant camp.

But many Kurds in France’s 150,000-strong community refuse to believe he acted alone, calling his actions a “terrorist” attack and pointing fingers at Turkey.

A spokesman for the Kurdish Democratic Council in France said: “The anger of those gathered today proves once again to us that the Kurdish community believes these killings are political. to what extent.

In January 2013, three Kurdish female activists – including Sakine Cansız, a co-founder of the PKK – were shot dead near the cultural center.

Their suspected killer, Omer Guney, a Turkish citizen believed to have ties to Ankara’s secret services, died of a brain tumor at a Paris hospital in 2016 while being assaulted. detention before trial.

More recently, men were beaten with iron rods in April at a Kurdish cultural center in the eastern French city of Lyon. That attack was attributed to members of the ultra-nationalist group Gray Wolves banned in Turkey.

The PKK, which has waged a nearly four-decade armed struggle for greater rights for the Kurdish minority in Turkey, is listed as a group by Ankara, the European Union and the United States. “terrorism”.

Conflict between police and Kurdish protesters shortly after the December killings have increased tensions between nominal NATO allies Turkey and France.

Ankara Ministry of Foreign Affairs million French ambassadors to complain about “black propaganda launched by [the] PKK”.

Activists with the Democratic Council of the Kurds in France planned a march on Wednesday for victims of the December shootings on the street where they were killed.

On Saturday, a “grand march” of the Kurdish community, originally scheduled to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 2013 shootings, will begin at Paris’ Gare du Nord train station.


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