Report: Ten prisoners in Turkey on hunger strike, their health worsening

The health of 10 women prisoners in Turkey has deteriorated since they went on hunger strike to protest against a new security measure, a lawyers’ association in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır said on Saturday.

According to a report by Reuters, 6 women in a jail in the eastern province of Elazığ went on hunger strike on Nov. 10, 2017 to protest against a rule obliging them to wear an ID while outside their living quarters, the Bar association said. Four more women joined them on Dec. 10, 2017.

The Diyarbakır Bar said the prisoners were losing weight and starting to have serious health problems. The Bar association said women who did not comply with the rule that was recently implemented were “not allowed access to meetings outside the ward, hobby activities, communication, ventilation and meetings with their lawyers.”

A request by one of the hunger strikers to have the rule rescinded was rejected on the grounds that it “prevented escape and averted disorder.”

The Bar did not specify why the women had been imprisoned and it was not available to comment on Saturday.

Diyarbakır, which borders Elazığ to the south, is the biggest city in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast.

Violence erupted between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in 2015, after the collapse of a ceasefire. The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency against the state since the 1980s, is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, Turkey and the European Union.

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