Coordination for Monitoring Hunger Strikes: Isolation must end immediately

The “Hunger Strikes Monitoring Coordination” established by IHD, TTB, ÖHD, HRFT and ÇHD stated that the isolation against Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan and abuses in prisons should be ended.

The “Hunger strike Monitoring Coordination” established by the Human Rights Association (İHD), Turkish Medical Association (TTB), Free Lawyers Association (ÖHD), Contemporary Lawyers Association (ÇHD) held a press conference at the IHD office to inform about the hunger strikes ongoing since 27 November demanding the end of the isolation imposed upon Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan and end the crackdown in prisons.

Speaking at the meeting, IHD co-chair Öztürk Türkdoğan noted that hunger strikes have spread to 107 prisons so far. Reminding that the prisoners have started indefinite and alternated hunger strike since 27 November 2020 demanding the lifting of the isolation on Öcalan and exposing the violations of rights in prisons, Türkdoğan emphasized that the violations of rights in prisons have been continuing for a long time.

Isolation must be ended  

Türkdoğan said: “Hunger strikes have been carried out for the prisoners held in Imrali High Security F-Type Closed Prison before and their isolation has been temporarily lifted, but ban on visits has been put back into effect since 7 August 2019. This situation violates UN Mandela Rules, CPT recommendations and the Execution Law No. 5275. This illegal practice should be terminated as soon as possible by the Ministry of Justice, and both lawyer and family visits should be allowed.”

Türkdoğan called for the Ministries of Justice, Interior and Health, the Parliamentary Human Rights Investigation Commission, the Ombudsman Institutions and all relevant institutions and organizations to do their work in order to eliminate torture, ill-treatment and the violations of rights.

Minister of Justice should take a step

Türkdoğan said that regular health checks should be carried out in prisons where hunger strikes continue, the nutritional needs should be met in accordance with the protocols, and medical care should be provided. “What has been done in previous hunger strike processes on medical level should be done during this hunger strike. We, 107 rights, law and health organizations, invite the Ministry of Justice and the relevant institutions to take steps as soon as possible to end the violations of rights and the isolation so that the health of prisoners on hunger strikes in prisons is not endangered. As the Monitoring Coordination we have established to closely monitor the hunger strike process, we will take the necessary initiatives at central and local levels, and contribute to the formation of a democratic public opinion by reporting this situation.”