As the hunger strikes launched by political prisoners in Turkey to protest the isolation of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan reach their 54th day, the families of prisoners continue to share their messages of solidarity.
Mustafa Amutgan, a political prisoner who has been behind bars for 28 years, is now in the Urfa T-type Prison and taking part in the hunger strike there. His wife, Remziye Amutgan, strongly supports her husband’s protest. She told Mesopotamia News: “We have to resist outside just as the prisoners do inside”.
‘The government tries to divide Kurdish people’
Amutgan also shared her views on the sit-in protest outside the HDP headquarters in Diyarbakır by families who claim their children were abducted by the PKK. “It is a lie. Their children willingly went to the mountains, no one forced them to. It is a shame on these families”, she said. “The government tries to manipulate and divide the Kurdish people. The families should understand that. Let us unite and end the hunger strikes. No more persecution of Kurds”.
‘They did not release my husband because he is a Kurd’
Turkish authorities passed a law which allowed for the early release of up to 100,000 prisoners due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but failed to include many others who should be considered for release, including political prisoners. “You released the people who are on your side”, said Amutgan. “My husband has been in prison for 28 years. You did not release him because he is a Kurd”.
‘Isolation has to be lifted’
During her last conversation with her husband, Amutgan learned that the water has been cut off in prison and the inmates have been forced to end their strikes.
“All of their demands are rejected by the prison administration”, said Amutgan. “The isolation of the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan has to be lifted and the demands of the prisoners should be accepted. We demand fair trials for all of the political prisoners and we should unite to attain our goals”.