The Peace Mothers have appealed for solidarity with those taking part in prison hunger strikes.
Fifty-three days have passed since inmates launched hunger strikes in Turkish prisons to demand an end to the isolation of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan and the rights violations in prisons more generally.
The hunger strikes are on a five-day rotation, and were recently taken up by the 11th group of strikers.
Peace Mothers, some of whose children are taking part in the hunger strikes, spoke to Jin News to give voice to the prisoners’ demands.
‘Do not let mothers suffer’
Maşallah Aslan’s son Abdulmecit Aslan previously launched a hunger strike in 2012, when he survived on a strict diet of sugar, salt and water for 68 days.
“The previous 68-day hunger strike caused serious destruction to his body and he died one year after he finished his strike”, said Maşallah Aslan. “My heart was torn out, please do not let more mothers suffer from the same pain. We call upon [Turkey’s] Ministry of Justice. Do not let young prisoners die… Our children do this for their country. We will not be silent until the demands of our children are accepted”.
‘Hear the demands of prisoners’
Peace Mother Vetha Kaçar said, “Enough. Do not let our children die in prison. Does this state have no compassion? How do they sleep when our children’s bodies grow thinner each and every day? Hunger strikes cause great damage to their bodies. Some people have been imprisoned over 30 years. None of the prisoners are taken to the hospital due to the pandemic. The Ministry of Justice should not disregard the demands of the prisoners. This is my only wish”.