219 Kurdish prisoners on hunger strike across Turkey on its 58th day

As an indefinite and irreversible hunger strike, that pro-Kurdish political prisoners launched on February 15, 2017 for an end to the isolation of outlawed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and the human rights violations in prisons is in a critical stage on its 58th day on Thursday, more prisoners have continued to join it. According to the pro-Kurdish news sources, the hunger strike in 27 prisons across Turkey has been joined by 219 inmates. It was reported that 38 of the prisoners who have started hunger strike are women.

Meanwhile, the health of the prisoners on hunger strike especially in İzmir’s Aliağa Şakran Prison has been deteriorating further every passing day. The prisoners joining the hunger strike are not given the B1 vitamin they need by the prison administration. The prisoners on hunger strike are reported to have suffered heavy weight loss as they have already entered the medically critical stage.

Prisoners in Siirt Type E Closed Prison has sent a letter through their families and announced that they started hunger strike as of April 10. The letter stated that 5 prisoners have gone on indefinite-irreversible hunger strike on April 10 as the massacre against the Kurdish people continues. Female prisoner Sevim Ekin has been also in hunger strike since March 28 and female prisoners Naime Kaplan and Kübra Çelik joined her on April 12.

Also, in Sincan Prison in Ankara, 7 female prisoners started a hunger strike which was later joined by 9 others. A third group also launched hunger strike on April 10, rising the total number of hunger strikers in Sincan Prison to 25. The hunger strike started by 10 prisoners in Bolu Type F Prison has been joined by 8 other prisoners on April 11 while, 5 prisoners in Tokat Type T Prison have also launched hunger strike on April.

Moreover, a hunger strike has been launched in Paris in solidarity with the prisoners on hunger strike in Turkish prisons continues. The demonstration continues in front of the French parliament with the participation of activists from different Kurdish organizations in France.

Alternate hunger strikes have also been launched in Copenhagen and Athens in solidarity with the political prisoners on hunger strike in Turkey’’s prisons. Meanwhile, 25 Kurdish people have launched a demonstration in front of the Nordrhein Westfalen State Parliament in Düsseldorf, Germany to support the hunger strike.

Turkey’s 340 prominent figures have called on the authorities to take the necessary steps for well-being of the prisoners in a joint declaration on last Friday.  The declaration, signed by journalists, academics and social activists, urged the authorities to take responsibility and to end rights violations in prisons. “In a period in which we rapidly approach to the point of no return with respect to the hunger strikers, we those who have signatures below state that we want to live in a country in which death is not a solution to be heard,” said in the declaration.

According to the figures of Initiative for Solidarity with Prisons, 219 prisoners, 38 of whom are women, are joining the indefinite-irreversible hunger strike in 27 prisons.

April 13, 2016

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