As Kurdish political prisoners continue to protest against serious and systematic violations of their rights taking place in prisons of Turkey their hunger strike continues into Day 47.
Three political prisoners held in Gümüşhane E-type prison told their families on a phone call that they were subjected to daily violence by the prison guards, saying “We are being threatened everyday, we have no guarantees of the safety of our lives.”
Hamza Arzuman, arrested during the curfews imposed on Silopi district of Şırnak (Şirnex) on 2015 and sentenced to 36 years in prison, told his family during his phone call that they were subjected to violence by prison guards, adding that other prisoners, Reşit İlhan and Halil (surname was not confirmed), were also subjected to violence in the same ward.
Arzuman said via his family, “We are being subjected to violence of prison guards everyday on the grounds that we are political prisoners. We are being threatened by the prison guards everyday. We can not sleep at nights. They are making noise knocking the door every morning, they are waging a psychological war on us. We can not sleep. We have no life safety.”
Brother Arzuman said they filed a petition to the prison administration against the mistreatment, however, their petition was not processed.
Hunger strike in prisons
As mistreatment and violations of rights continue in prisons, political prisoners continue their hunger strike as well.
Prisoners in Turkey announced at the beginning of their hunger strike via the weekly phone calls they made with their families on 27 November. Prisoners demand the removal of the isolation imposed upon the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan in İmralı F type High Security Prison and demands for protection against violations of rights in prisons of Turkey.
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 took part in the strike, and applied to be transferred to the İmralı prison island complex where Abdullah Öcalan is being held.
It has also been revealed that prisoners who were on hunger strike have been subjected to mistreatment in several prisons in Turkey.
Human rights organisations have drawn attention to the importance of the strikes launched under Covid 19 pandemic conditions and called on the authorities to solve the issue.