Prisoners who are on hunger strike in Eskişehir Prison have been subjected to mistreatment, with their wards being raided three times a day, it has been revealed.
Rotating hunger strikes were launched on 27 November by imprisoned members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) to protest the isolation imposed on PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan in İmralı F-type High Security Prison.
Following the announcement of the hunger strikes, reports have revealed mistreatment of prisoners participating in the strike. Eskişehir H-type Closed Prison is one of the centres of mistreatment. According to the Mesopotamia Agency (MA), prisoner Emrecan Demir’s father, Hasan Demir, said his son told him that prisoners who were on hunger strike could not access sugar, juice and other needs.
Raids in wards three times a day
Demir said, “My son said there were 11 people in the ward and they launched a rotating hunger strike. Since the hunger strike began, their ward has been raided three times a day. During the raids, their ward was thrown into disarray, and even their books and pens have been seized”.
Explaining that cleaning and hygiene materials were also not delivered to the prisoners under pandemic conditions, Demir said the prisoners were delivered “only a cup of bleach since the pandemic began”.
‘All of society is under isolation’
Demir said his son was on hunger strike for 106 days during the hunger strikes that took place in 2019 in Turkey’s prisons, and added that his son Emrecan said, “Our action will continue until the removal of isolation in prisons and İmralı. Today, isolation is imposed not only on the prisons, but also on the whole society. We acting against this isolation policy”.
Hasan Demir called on human rights associations and public opinion to speak up.
On 27 November prisoners in Turkey announced the beginning of their hunger strike via the weekly phone calls they made with their families. They also clarified how the hunger strike would work. Each prisoner would take turns to go on a five-day hunger strike until their demands are met.
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. Demirel had announced her decision via a weekly phone call with her mother Gülperi Demirel.
Imprisoned PKK and PJAK members also announced that they had launched an indefinite hunger strike on 27 November to protest against the isolation of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan.
Following the announcement of the hunger strikes, Kandıra F-type High Security Prison’s administration had raided the wards of several political prisoners, including Demirel and former HDP members and executives.