The MPs of Peoples’ Democratic Party held a press conference today at the Turkish Assembly, highlighting the ongoing hunger strikes launched by mostly Kurdish political prisoners 50 days ago to demand the isolation imposed upon the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan be lifted.
The HDP’s MP for Muş, Gülistan Kılıç Koçyiğit said, “Thousands of political prisoners, who have been sentenced to prison just because of the fact that they stood up against the ruling power, launched a hunger strike 50 days ago in order that the ruling power complies with the rule of law, with the Turkish Constitution and to give up its discriminatory policies, including the crimes of torture they commit.”
Koçyiğit stated that the demands of the political prisoners are lawful and democratic demands that should immediately be accepted by the Turkish authorities.
Koçyiğit: “Isolation is a form torture”
With reference to Asrın Law Bureau’s Imralı 2020 Report Koçyiğit said, “Abdullah Öcalan and all other prisoners on Imralı Island prison complex are denied their right to communicate with their lawyers and family members, including all rights of telephone calls, letters and direct visits. This heavy isolation system imposed in Imrali complies neither with national, nor with international laws. Isolation is a crime of torture.”
“The CPT documented the crime of the Turkish authorities”
“European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) documented the crime of the Turkish authorities multiple times, stating that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) commits the ‘crime of torture’ with this isolation system built on Imralı. Whilst the AKP has never given up committing this crime, they explained that this isolation policy covers the whole of society and has turned this into the way the regime rule Turkey,” Koçyiğit stated.
“Hunger strike is a political objection”
Koçyiğit finally noted the importance of the stand against isolation, mainly embodied by the hunger striking prisoners. “The prisoners do not only defend their rights in prisons standing up against the violations of human rights they have been subjected to, but also raise quite a significant political and moral objection against the authoritarin and oppressive regime in Turkey. The prisons have always been places, where the most serious violations of rights were experienced in Turkey, but today, the situation is even worse. The prisoners are kept in double-isolation,” she said.
“Their demands are our demands!”
Speaking on behalf of the HDP Koçyiğit declared that the demands of the hungers strikers represent the demands of her party. “The Hunger strike resistance is a matter of responsibility for us all. Whenever the prisoners have no other way to give voice to their rightful demands, they have to resort to hunger strikes as a method of resistance. We want to underline that all the progressive powers amongst society should act to support the hunger striking prisoners. We state that our party will continue to act and show its responsibility owed to the hunger striking prisoners as we always have.
We call upon the democratic communities to give voice to the hunger striking prisoners,” she stated.