Thousands of members of the Kurdish community from France and other European countries gathered in Villiers-le-Bel, in the Paris region, on Tuesday for the highly political funeral of the three Kurds killed before Christmas in a racist shooting in full heart of Paris.
At midday, the remains of Abdurrahman Kizil, Mir Perwer, a Kurdish political refugee singer, and Emine Kara, leader of the Kurdish Women's Movement in France, pushed through a dense crowd to enter a rented village hall for the occasion.
Wrapped in the flags of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Rojava, a Kurdish territory in Syria, the coffins entered framed by a guard of honour, greeted with tears and cries of "martyrs are eternal!" ".
Many Kurds refuse to believe the version of a sniper with racist motivations and denounce a “terrorist” act, implicating Turkey.
This killing revives the memory of the triple assassination, ten years ago almost to the day, of three Kurdish activists, already in the same district of Paris, a case in which the intelligence services of Ankara are suspected.
Unable to enter the room where the bodies are exposed in the middle of funeral wreaths under a portrait of Abdullah Öcalan, the historic leader of the PKK imprisoned in Turkey, thousands of people followed the ceremony on giant screens installed in a parking lot.
[HEADLINE AT 12H] From France and even from Europe, thousands of members of the Kurdish community converge on Villiers-le-Bel (Val-d'Oise) for the funeral of the three Kurds killed before Christmas in a shooting at racist character in the heart of Paris #AFP 1/5 pic.twitter.com/3MJO7Oc8io
- Agence France-Presse (@afpfr) -
"We're here because it's our duty, it's a fight that our parents fought for many years and that we must continue," Celik, a 30-year-old woman who has never had a child, told AFP. did not want his surname to be cited for security reasons.
“We have the impression that they are doing everything to crush us, whether here or in Turkey”, regretted this resident of Villiers-le-Bel, about fifteen kilometers north of Paris, who came to the funeral with family. .
Series of events
Kurds traveled from all over France and even from European countries to attend these funerals, coming with buses specially chartered by the community. The organizers have set up a large security service, in addition to the security forces deployed outside.
The three deceased were shot dead on December 23 in front of the Ahmet-Kaya cultural center on rue d'Enghien in Paris. The shooter, William Malet, was disarmed and arrested shortly after.
Before the investigators, the 69-year-old man, already known to the courts for acts of violence and who had just come out of pre-trial detention for another case, expressed a "pathological hatred of foreigners" and said he wanted "Murder of migrants", according to the Paris prosecutor's office.
Indicted on December 26 for murder and attempted murder on the grounds of race, ethnicity, nation or religion, this retired train driver was imprisoned in the process.
In this same place of Villiers-le-Bel, chosen because of the presence of a large Kurdish community in the Val-d'Oise department and its ease of access, the funerals of the three activists had already been held. Kurds linked to the PKK and shot dead inside the Kurdistan Information Center in January 2013.
The suspect of this triple assassination, a Turkish national suspected of having acted in connection with the intelligence services of Ankara, died of cancer in detention in 2016, before his appearance before the assizes.
A white march will also be held on Wednesday rue d'Enghien on the scene of the tragedy at the end of December. And a "great march" of the Kurdish community, initially planned for the tenth anniversary of the death of PKK militants, will leave Saturday from the Gare du Nord in Paris.
The Editorial Board (with AFP)