The indefinite-rotating hunger strike launched to protest against the isolation of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan and to protest against violations of rights in prisons continues on its 33rd day with the seventh group of strikers.
Prisoners in Turkey announced the beginning of their hunger strike via the weekly phone calls they made with their families on 27 November 2020.
In the latest message the hunger strikers sent about their protest, they stated:
“We cannot remain silent about the problems that our people, the Kurds are experiencing. Every day our people are massacred and subjected to violence. The isolation imposed upon Imrali is applied to the whole of society. With our hunger strike, we have been using our bodies to protest against that oppression and persecution. Our action will continue until the isolation on our leader is lifted and the violations of rights in prisons end.” they said.
On December 18, a hunger strike was also launched in Mahmur Camp in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, against the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan in İmralı. The strike is initiated by women and is on its 12th day.
The first hunger strike against the isolation of Öcalan was launched on September 12, 2012, the anniversary of the 1980 military coup. In 2016 and 2018 strikes were also made in prisons of Turkey.
As a result of the 200-day strike, initiated by Kurdish politician Leyla Güven in 2018, Öcalan’s lawyers met with their clients on May 2-22, June 12-18, and August 7, 2019, after 8 years of excuses given by the authorities and the hunger strike ended on May 26, 2019 upon the call of Abdullah Öcalan.