On the occasion of Olaf Palme’s tenure as Prime Minister

Olaf Palme became Sweden’s prime minister on such a day. Olaf Palme soon attracted everbody’s attention. He was known for his efforts for peace, but he was killed in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, and his wife was wounded along with him in 1986, two years after the PKK officially began its armed activities.

The assassination of Olaf Palme had such a devastating effect on the lives of all Kurds in Sweden that the Kurds did not even dare to declare their Kurdish identity in public and on the streets for years. In the first official response to the perpetrators of the assassination, the Swedish government announced the name of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and immediately arrested a number of Kurds as suspects. Announcing the name of PKK as the main culprit led to widespread media, physical, and political attacks on the Kurds, who were not only members or sympathizers of the PKK, but also many victims of PKK armed violence and had taken refuge in Sweden, like members of the Rizgari group or the Turkish Kurdistan Socialist Party led by Kemal Burkay.

The assassination took place more than 30 years ago and its consequences still affect the Swedish Kurds. This action paved the way for naming the PKK on the list of terrorist organizations in Western countries.

The murder was as follows:

In 1986, when Olaf Palme and his wife walked out of a movie theater, an unidentified man approached them in central Stockholm, killing him with a shotgun and wounding his wife. Shoresh Rashi, author of “Palme, the PKK and Gladio” believes that Palme’s assassination was to the detriment of all Kurds. Both the political life of the Kurds and their existence were targeted. Sweden’s then-prosecutor Hans Holmer issued an arrest warrant for 58 suspected Kurds. A few months later, he ordered the arrest of 20 other Kurds, but released them for lack of reason. Sweden did not stop there and ordered the Kurds to be grouped and separated in various ceremonies, including sporting events, with the aim of restricting the Kurds’ movement.

Before the assassination of Olaf Palme, the Swedish government warned about the danger of the PKK and before that the PKK had assassinated two of its senior members who criticized Abdullah Ocalan in Sweden. Reports indicate that Kesire Yildirim, Ocalan’s ex-wife, who had fled to Sweden for fear of Ocalan, confessed the PKK had killed Palme. The reason for this violent reaction of the PKK was that  the Swedish government opposed granting political asylum to PKK members and supporters. “We have worked constantly and succeeded in convincing the public that not all Kurds are PKK and terrorists and that they should not be victimized by the PKK,” said Jean Guillot, a young journalist at the time.

Now the PKK media claim the Swedish government acquitted the PKK! A question is raised, if so, why is the PKK still on Sweden’s terrorist list?

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