Thousands march in Paris in memory of 2013 murder of Kurdish activists

© Alain Jocard, AFP

Thousands of demonstrators marched in central Paris on Saturday to pay tribute to three Kurdish activists murdered a decade ago.

The march, an annual event since the killings on January 9, 2013, came two weeks after an eerily similar triple slaying on December 23 at the Kurdish Cultural Centre in Paris -- just a few minutes' walk from the site of the earlier shootings.

The organisers said at least 25,000 people from all over Europe had joined the rally. Paris police put the figure at 10,000.

They carried banners with the pictures of the 2013 victims and slogans such as "The Turkish government has massacred three more Kurds" as they walked from the Gare du Nord station in the north of the capital towards Place de la Republique, a popular spot for demonstrations.

In 2013, Sakine Cansiz, 54, a founder of the PKK Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a long insurgency against Turkey, was killed execution-style with shots to the head.

Two other women were killed in the same way: Fidan Dogan, 28 and Leyla Saylemez, 24 at the Kurdish Information Centre in Paris' 10th district.

More than 1,200 people also marched in the southern French city of Marseille, according to an AFP estimate; 800 according to local police.

The PKK, which fights for increased autonomy for the Kurdish population, is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.


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