It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of our close friend Jon Rud,(1937-2020) and, on behalf of the Kurdistan National Congress, we send our deepest condolences to his wife, Valeri Mercedec Rud, his family and friends, and the Kurdish people.
Our friend Jon fought tirelessly for the rights of the Kurds and will always have a special place in the hearts of the Kurdish people. During the most difficult times of war in the 1990s, Jon was by our side. As a Norwegian human rights lawyer and the former chairman of the Human Rights Committee of the Norwegian Bar Association and of Amnesty International in Norway, he took every opportunity to defend the Kurdish people.
Jon was a leading force in the establishment of many influential human rights organisations including the Kurdish Human Rights Project (UK), Medico International (Germany), the Bar Human Rights Committee of England & Wales (UK) and the Rafto Foundation (Norway). He was also a founding member of the EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC) and served as its Secretary-General from 2004 to 2008. For his unwavering defence of the Kurdish people, Jon was targeted by the Turkish state, who declared him an “unwanted person” in 1999 and banned him from entering Turkey.
Jon’s passing fill us with sadness. He was a lifelong advocate for justice, peace and democracy without borders. We will always remember Jon as a man of justice, a human rights worker, an intellectual, and a lover of peace. It was an honour for us to have Jon as our friend, and his memory will inspire us to continue our struggle to fulfil his dreams of peace and justice in Kurdistan, Middle East, and the world.
Executive Council of the Kurdistan National Congress