Kurdish journalist Dicle Müftüoğlu, who is on remand in Turkey’s Sincan Women’s Prison, has announced her participation in a hunger strike in solidarity with political prisoners who have been on hunger strike for over 65 days demanding an end to the policy of isolating prisoners in Turkish prisons and a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question in Turkey.
In a statement released through her legal representatives, Müftüoğlu, who has herself been imprisoned for nine months awaiting trial, highlighted the growing suppression of freedom of expression, truth and democracy in Turkey, where, she said, all people who think, speak and report the truth find themselves imprisoned and isolated.
“As a journalist who has been imprisoned through the criminalisation of professional activities and who has personally experienced the consequences of lawlessness, I raise my voice against the silence that has been created. I call on everyone to raise their voices so that the truth does not remain in the dark,” Müftüoğlu said in her message.
The hunger strikes, which were started by Kurdish political prisoners across Turkey on 27 November, are demanding an end to human rights violations in Turkish prisons, improvements in prison conditions and an end to the long isolation of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan in İmralı Island Prison. The prisoners are also demanding the resumption of family and legal visits for Öcalan and a democratic solution to the Kurdish question.
“The hunger strike against isolation continues in the prisons. The source of the isolation and the denial of freedom of expression, truth, democracy and freedoms is the policy maintained in İmralı Prison. To dispel this darkness, the isolation must be broken,” said Müftüoğlu.
Müftüoğlu, co-chair of the Dicle Fırat Journalists’ Association (DFG) began her hunger strike on 28 January and announced her intention to continue the strike until 5 February.
Müftüoğlu was first detained on 3 May, World Press Freedom Day, during a series of operations against Kurdish opposition circles in Turkey that resulted in the arrest of several journalists, activists and lawyers.