There have been worldwide protests against the prison isolation conditions of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan. He has been imprisoned for 22 years in Imrali Island Prison in Turkey.
Since 27 November 2020, political prisoners in more than 150 prisons in Turkey have participated in hunger strikes protesting against the isolation of Öcalan. Former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Çağlar Demirel, who is currently imprisoned in the Kocaeli Kandıra F-type high security prison and imprisoned former Democratic Regions Party (DBP) member Sebahat Tuncel also joined the strikers in calling for an end to Öcalan’s prison isolation and an end to rights abuses of prisoners in Turkey.
Political prisoners of the Kurdistan Workers’s Party (PKK) and Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) are actively engaged in the hunger strike which has now spread to more than 150 prisons in Turkey.
There have been international campaigns calling for freedom for Öcalan and an end to his prison isolation conditions. These campaigns have intensified since the release of the report prepared by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and the Council of Europe’s call to Turkey to act on the recommendations of the European Committee. The South African Confederation of Trade Unions (COSATU) and the Kurdish Human Rights Action Group have launched a campaign, as have other protest groups and organisations in Europe, Rojava, the Middle East and worldwide.
The Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) and the Kurdistan Women’s Community (KJK) have extended support for international campaigns through a “Time to ensure freedom” initiative that they launched. The international campaigns to end the isolation of Öcalan continue.