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Arrest Kurdish Demonstrators at German Consulate

August 4, 1987

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) _ Police wielding crowbars smashed their way into the West German Consulate on Monday and arrested more than 40 Kurdish demonstrators apparently protesting Bonn’s treatment of ethnic Kurds.

About two dozen police scuffled with the demonstrators who had locked themselves inside before being subdued in the most violent confrontation yet between Amsterdam authorities and Kurdish nationalists.

Those arrested at the consulate could be charged with trespassing, said police spokesman Leo Detering.

No serious injuries were reported in the police action that ended the one- hour sit-in protest. One policeman suffered a slight head injury.

The demonstration was the latest of at least three mounted at the consulate located in the city’s museum quarter in recent months by Kurds.

It was organized by the Kurdish National Liberation Front, according to a Dutch television report, which added that the protesters had asked Consul Heinz Buerger to pass their grievances on to the West German government.

A consulate spokeswoman confirmed that Buerger had spoken with the activists but would not say whether he had complied with their request.

The Kurdish dissidents are protesting their treatment by both the West German government and the Turkish government of Gen. Kenan Evren.

Turkey is one of four nations, including Iran, Iraq and Syria, where large numbers of ethnic Kurds seek an autonomous Kurdish nation.

Although it was not clear what specific aspect of West German government policy was at issue, previous Kurdish demonstrations in the Netherlands have focused on alleged West German police intimidation of Kurdish dissidents, as well as allegedly illegal treatment by the Bonn government.

On May 27, about 50 Kurdish demonstrators staged an hourlong sit-in at the consulate waiting room. A similar protest was held at the consulate by Kurds in September, and last March a Kurdish group staged a sit-in at the Dutch Foreign Ministry in The Hague.

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