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Europe court allows PKK appeal against EU terror designation to proceed

[JURIST] The European Court of Justice (ECJ) [official website] held [judgment] Thursday that the militant Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) [official website; FAS backgrounder] can appeal the decision of the Council of the European Union [official website] in 2002 to include the PKK on its list of terrorist organizations. The court set aside a lower court ruling which held that Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan [official website], now serving a life prison sentence in Turkey, cannot proceed with the appeal since the PKK no longer existed. The ECJ said [press release] that an "organization cannot, simultaneously, have an existence sufficient for it to be subject to restrictive measures laid down by the Community legislature and not have an existence sufficient to contest those measures."

The PKK was outlawed in Turkey, the United States [JURIST report], and the European Union after the militant group waged a violent campaign to establish an independent Kurdish state in southeast Turkey. Other prominent groups on the European Union's list of terrorist organizations include Hamas [CFR backgrounder; JURIST news archive], Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) [BBC backgrounder] and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) [CFR backgrounder; faction website]. AFP has more.

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