The 11th group of protestors has taken up the anti-isolation hunger strike in Turkish prisons, while hunger strikes also continue in the Makhmour Camp in Iraqi Kurdistan and the Lavrio Camp in Greece.
Political prisoners in Turkey’s prisons launched the hunger strike to stop the isolation of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan, who is imprisoned in the İmrali F-type High Security Prison, as well as to protest the rights violations in prisons more generally. The strike is now on its 51st day, and has already spread across 107 prisons in Turkey.
A hunger strike led by women was launched on 18 December in Makhmour Refugee Camp and is now on its 30th day.
In addition, the hunger strike led by Kurds in the Lavrio Camp in Greece is now on its 13th day. The action has been carried out by the Revolutionary Youth Movement (TCŞ-Tevgera Ciwanên Şoreşger), Europe Kurdish Women’s Movement (Tevgera Jinên Kurdistan a Ewropa) and Kurdish Culture Centre (Navenda Çanda Kürdistan).
In the meantime, another hunger strike has been launched in Finland for the removal of Öcalan’s isolation and to protest the prison violations in Turkey. The strike was launched by a group of five people on 8 January and a second group has taken up the strike.
Prisoners in Turkey announced the beginning of their hunger strike via the weekly phone calls they made with their families on 27 November. Former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Çağlar Demirel, who is currently imprisoned in the Kocaeli Kandıra F-type high security prison, launched the hunger strike. Later, imprisoned former Democratic Regions Party (DBP) member Sebahat Tuncel also decided to strike, and applied to be transferred to the İmralı prison island complex where Abdullah Öcalan is being held.
Elsewhere several prisoners have joined the strike in prisons across Turkey.
Following the hunger strike decision of political prisoners in Turkey, activists in the Makhmour Refugee Camp in Iraqi Kurdistan and in Lavrio Camp in Greece also began hunger strikes.
It has also been revealed that prisoners who were on hunger strike have been subjected to mistreatment in several Turkish prisons. Human rights organisations drew attention to the seriousness of strikes launched under pandemic conditions and called on authorities to resolve the issue.
Peoples’ Democratic Party MPs held a press conference on 15 January at the Turkish Assembly, highlighting the ongoing hunger strikes launched by mostly Kurdish political prisoners.