Whilst the prison hunger strike action in Turkey continues to its 140th day, more reports on the increasing pressures on political prisoners come from Turkey’s eastern province of Van (Wan).
The indefinite, rotating hunger strike launched by political prisoners in Turkey – to protest against the prison isolation conditions of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan as well as the violations of prisoners’ rights more generally – has reached its 140th day.
Sabiha Tekin, the wife of political prisoner Şaban Tekin, who has been imprisoned in Van High Security Prison for the last six years, shared her concerns regarding the increasing pressures on prisoners by the prison administration.
‘Prisoners are under heavy pressure’
Van High Security Prison administration has been increasingly putting more pressure on political prisoners, according to Tekin.
“I have not heard from my husband for days. I am extemely concerned about his well being. Many realtives of the prisoners share the same concerns as me,” Tekin said.
Tekin shared some of the violations of rights she has encountered and problems they have been subjected to as follows: “When we go to visit him, they don’t let us see him. They cut off our phone calls. They block our communication with him. He (Şaban Tekin) is also sick. He is on hunger strike, but he suffers from chronic problems in his stomach. He has difficulty in breathing, but they do not provide any medical treatment. The prisoners are under heavy pressure,”
‘They are resisting for their leader’
Tekin also stated that the last time she was able to speak with her jailed husband on the phone, he told her that despite all the intense pressure the prison administration puts on them, political prisoners are dedicated to continue their hunger strike action.
“In our phone call, my husband said that prisoners do not accept the ongoing situation and that the prisoners are dedicated to their cause for him (Abdullah Öcalan). They are resisting for their leader,” Tekin said and called for solidarity with the prisoners:
“Prisoners are under heavy oppression. They are paying a great price for the hunger strike. Our people should embrace them and stand up. All people with a conscience should stand up.”