Protesters from all over Europe and especially from Germany were under heavy police escort …

About 10,000 Kurds marched this Saturday in Strasbourg to demand as every year the release of their historic leader Abdullah Öcalan, imprisoned in Turkey, but also to protest against the Turkish offensive in the Kurdish enclave of Afrine in Syria.

The parade, leaving late morning from the station of Strasbourg, in the rain and snow, counted 10,000 people according to the police. Waving many Kurdish flags and others with the image of their leader and demanding the “freedom for Öcalan” (“Freedom for Öcalan”), protesters from all over Europe and especially Germany, had to join in early afternoon, under important police escort, the district of Meinau where a meeting is planned.

The protesters also asked “the genocide halt in Afrine”

In the procession, banners calling on the UN “to take responsibility for and stop the genocide in Afrine” (“UN, Take your responsibility and stop the genocide in Efrin”) rubbed shoulders with the photo of the mustached leader PKK. “I’m here for two reasons: the first is the imprisonment of the PKK leader and the other is because of this Kurdish city that is bombed by the Turks, ” said Newroz, 27, huddled under his umbrella, flag by hand.

This large Kurdish gathering is being held in Strasbourg, city of the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights, every year since the arrest in 1999 of Abdullah Ocalan. Kurdish Kurdish Party (PKK) leader of the Kurdish rebellion is being held on Imrali prison-island, off Istanbul.