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Australia: Debate needed on Kurdish group ban

Greens call for parliamentary debate on Kurdish group ban

The Greens will move in the Senate to disallow a government ban on the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) Senator Brown announced today. The government listed the PKK as a terrorist organisation in December last year following the visit of the Turkish Prime Minister.

"Many Kurdish refugees in Australia are here because they were persecuted by Turkey for being part of the PKK. Now the government wants to turn them into criminals," Senator Brown said.

"Mr Howard says that the Kurds in Iraq are an important part of the new government, but cross the border and he calls them terrorists. This is the worst double standard."

"We should be supporting moves for peace in the Kurdish areas of
Turkey. Instead the government has put trade ties with Turkey ahead of human rights."

There has been limited opportunity for members of the Kurdish community to contribute to the inquiry conducted by the Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security which is due to hand down its report next week.

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