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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hunger strike of Kurdish prisoners since Sept 12th - more join each day

Since Sept. 12th Kurdish prisoners inside Turkey's prisons have been on a hunger strike protesting the prologued isolation of the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, who has been held on İmralı Island on a life sentence. Öcalan has been held in solitary confinement and even his own lawyers have not been allowed to visit him since 14 months, see:

Hurriyet Daily News, a Turkish newspaper, Oct 19th 2012

See also: Global Times, where this was written about the background of the hunger strike, which more and more prisoners are joining each day:

There are over 7000 (some resources say closer to 8000) political prisoners related to BDP, KCK or PKK in Turkish jails with majority being under arrest as a result of KCK operations. Overwhelming majority of those are not convicted. Just being held captive pending trial- which might take years to finalize in the maze we call Turkish judiciary system.

These prisoners even lack most basic rights of visitation. If allowed they are humiliated in front of their relatives. What is worse is their relatives are also humiliated in prisoners’ presence by military guardians. Most have forfeited their rights of visitation to protest that fact.

Letters are torn in front of both prisoners and visitors. And as of last week all communication between the Kurds in custody and the outside world is completely broken.

A hunger strike initiated by a small group of women in Diyarbakir prison spread over the country and today over 350 prisoners joined in for “the right to use their Kurdish mother tongue in the public sphere, including court and the removal of obstacles preventing imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan from negotiating in peace talks with the Turkish state.”

Today the mayor-elect of Siirt province, Selim Sadak has joined in the hunger strike to support his comrades in jail.

Also, Here are the names of the hunger strikers as of yesterday: http://www.amednewsagency.com/aclik-grevindeki-tutsaklarin-tam-listesi/

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