It is with sadness we received the message that our good dear friend and true advocate for the rights of the Kurdish people, the Norwegian lawyer and human rights activist Jon Rud, has passed away. Jon Rud died in Valencia, Spain at the age of 83. He leaves behind his beloved Irish wife Valerie, she also heavily involved in Kurdish issues. Jon Rud’s wish was to be buried in Ireland – a country he learned to love through his wife.

In 2004, Jon Rud became one of the first board members of the EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC). His open mind, creativity and strategic approach to the Kurdish question made him highly respected by the initial founding organizations; Kurdish Human Rights Project (UK), Medico International (Germany), Bar Human Rights Committee of England & Wales (UK) and the Rafto Foundation (Norway). Jon Rud continued to serve as EUTCC’s Secretary General until he had to resign in 2008 due to other human rights missions.

Jon Rud’s many initiatives and activities towards the Kurds made him fearful by the Turkish authorities who in 2008 expelled him from the country for the second time – this time for life. Turkish authorities suspected the Norwegian lawyer for helping lawyers defending the Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan. However, the decision did not stop Jon Rud rather he stepped up his commitment to the Kurdish people’s political and cultural rights – a mission he worked tireless for until his death.

The EUTCC sends deep-felt condolences to Jon Rud’s family and in particular to his wife Valerie. His work and struggle for the Kurdish people and for peace and democracy in Turkey and the Middle East stands like a bauta for Humanity. We are forever grateful for all you have done for the cause of the Kurdish people.

We shine peace upon your memory!

Kariane Westrheim
Chair of EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC)

+47 976 42 088