Paris, France – Three female Kurdish activists were found dead Thursday at a Kurdish Information Center in Paris. French officials said they were all shot in the head execution style.
News reports have identified the three women. Sakine Cansiz, a founder of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, known by the initials P.K.K, Fidan Dogan, the head of the institute and a representative of the Kurdistan National Committee, and Leyla Soylemez, a Kurdish activist were all killed.
Their bodies were discovered around 2 am on Thursday. The antiterror department of the prosecutor’s office will oversee the investigation said Agnès Thibault-Lecuivre, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor’s office. Thibault-Lecuivre confirmed the that Dogan, born in 1984, and Soylemez, born in 1988, were killed but she declined to identify the third woman. “No hypothesis can be excluded at this stage” regarding the motive for the killing Thibault-Lecuivre said, according to The New York Times.
The three women were last seen inside the information center of the Kurdish Institute around noon on Wednesday. A member of the Kurdish community became worried after she could not reach one of the women on her cellphone. Friends then visited the Kurdish institute. They broke in to the building after seeing traces of blood on the locked door of an unmarked office on the first floor and found the bodies early Thursday morning.
Later Thursday morning, Interior Minister, Manuel Valls, visited the institute. Valls said the deaths were “no doubt executions” and called them “intolerable,” according to The Los Angelas Times. He added that France’s anti-terrorist brigade had been called to investigate and said they would do all they could to do to “shed light on this act.”
The PKK is regarded by the US and European Union as a terrorist organization. The PKK is an organization that demands greater autonomy for Turkish Kurds. The conflict between Turkey and the PKK has killed roughly 45,000 people in the last 28 years.