Kurdish politicians including HDP co-chair to go on hunger strike in protest of prison conditions

Pro-Kurdish HDP Co-chairperson Selahattin Demirtaş (R), HDP Hakkari deputy Abdullah Zeydan (L) and Democratic Regions Party (DBP) Co-chairperson Sebahat Tuncel had started a hunger strike on Friday.

Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-chairperson Selahattin Demirtaş, HDP Hakkari deputy Abdullah Zeydan and Democratic Regions Party (DBP) Co-chairperson Sebahat Tuncel will go on a hunger strike on Friday in the prisons in which they are jailed.

A statement from Demirtaş released by the HDP on Thursday said: “In consequence of Edirne Prison’s stance of no dialogue, unlawful practices, inhumane practices against other prisoners and the complete lack of good intentions regarding the ending of hunger strikes that have been continuing for days, we, too, from Friday on, will begin a hunger strike. We invite the public to display sensitivity regarding the hunger strikes and the continuing violation of rights in prisons.”

Three other HDP deputies, Meral Danış Beştaş, Ayhan Bilgen and Nihat Akdoğan, who are in Silivri Prison, will also go on a hunger strike April 1-5, Cumhuriyet reported on Thursday.

Turkey has stepped up political pressure on Kurdish politicians in recent months. The Turkish government has jailed 13 members of the pro-Kurdish democratic opposition in Parliament on terrorism charges and arrested a total of 84 co-mayors from the pro-Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP) in the past couple of months while seizing the administration of 54 municipalities across southern Turkey. (SCF with turkishminute.com) March 30, 2018

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