Hunger strike in prisons enters a critical stage on 52nd day

An alternate hunger strike in DBP İzmir office had been joined by 15 people including HDP administrators.

The 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, has entered a critical stage on its 52th day on Friday.

It is reported that 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.

A press conference held at DBP (Democratic Regions’ Party) provincial branch office before the launch of the hunger strike on Friday was attended by HDP İzmir deputies Müslüm Doğan and Ertuğrul Kürkçü, Diyarbakır deputy Sibel Yiğitalp and DBP-HDP provincial administrations who wore white shirts with a “No to isolation in prisons” and “Hunger strikers in prisons on verge of death” writing on them.

Kürkçü made a statement and stressed that the hunger strike in prisons has entered a critical stage. Recalling his visit together with Sibel Yiğitalp to Şakran Prison two days ago, Kürkçü said that the prison administration did not engage in any efforts with regards to answering the demands of prisoners.

Kürkçü also recalled that prisoners went on hunger strike for various reasons which include reduction of visitation duration, constraint of phone talks to once in 15 days, monitoring of visitors by inspectors, denial of access to various legal newspapers, cell confinements, assaults and violence.

Kürkçü called on authorities to answer the demands of prisoners, warning that those on hunger strike for 52 days now are on the verge of crossing the line between life and death. Kürkçü called on the Minister of Justice and doctors to closely follow the situation in prisons.

Peace Mothers Assembly member Medine Kaymaz has also speaken on behalf of the hunger strike participants and said that “We do not want death in prisons. We will never give up on our children.”

Meanwhile, an alternate hunger strike in DBP İzmir office is joined by 15 people including HDP administrators. Another group will take over the hunger strike two days later. Two more female prisoners, Ebru Güden and Hafize Toprak, have also gone on hunger strike in Şakran Prison.

April 7, 2017

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