Hunger strike in Strasbourg: Several meetings in EP and CoE

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Several meetings have been held with MEPs this week as part of the hunger strike in Strasbourg, France protesting the isolation against Ocalan, currently on day 33, and informative files have been submitted to permanent representation offices in the CoE.

Several meetings have been held with MEPs this week as part of the hunger strike in Strasbourg, France protesting the isolation against Ocalan, currently on day 33, and informative files have been submitted to permanent representation offices in the Council of Europe.

The indefinite and non-alternate hunger strike launched on December 17 aims to end the isolation imposed upon Ocalan, while also demanding that the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) under the Council of Europe (CoE) urgently visit the Imrali island and inform the public about Ocalan’s situation in detail. And, considering that the Turkish state has only allowed two very short family visits since April 2015, the protest demands that institutions like the CoE and CPT end their stance of silence to this day to completely break the imposed isolation.

DEMANDING FREEDOM AGAINST ISOLATION

Meetings were held with several MEPs this week with the launch of the first sessions of 2019 in the European Parliament (EP)

In meetings from Monday onwards, the activists pointed out that the aggravation of the isolation imposed upon the Kurdish People’s Leader develops in parallel with the empowerment of the dictatorial political atmosphere in Turkey. In the meetings held by the committee including KCDK-E Co-chair Yuksel Koc and former HDP MP Dilek Ocalan, the activists demanded that MEPs be conscious against the European states’ approval of policies of oppression and isolation by silence.

The activists also pointed to Leyla Guven, on her 72nd day of hunger strike today, and stated that Guven as an elected official has started this action because the solution to issues in Turkey and Kurdistan is possible through Ocalan being able to play his role.

Most European parliament members support the action against the isolation, and some of them held a demonstration in the EP on Tuesday where they held banners that read “Freedom for Ocalan”, “End isolation against Abdullah Ocalan” and “Freedom for Leyla Guven”. The same day, many MEPs attended a press conference by HDP Siirt MP Meral Danis Bestas and voiced their demand for the end of the isolation.

THE VISITED MEPS

The MEPs who have been visited in this week’s series of meetings are: German Greens Member Rebeca Harms, Josep-Maria Terribacas and Jordi sole from the autonomous region of Catalonia in Spain, German independent MEP Hans Olaf Henkel, Takis Hadjigeorgiou from Cyprus, Europe Ecology – The Greens (EELV) Pascal Durand, Frenc Left Party (Parti de Gauche) member Marie-Pierre Vieu, UK Labour Party member Julie Ward, Miguel Urban Crespo from Spain’s Podemos, Ana Miranda from Spain, Martina Anderson from Northern Ireland, French MEPs Marie-Christine Vergiat and José Bové, Green Party of England and Wales member Jean Denise Lambert and Portuguese socialist MEP Ana Gomes.

INITIATIVES IN THE COE CONTINUE

Meanwhile, there will be several meetings in the CoE next week as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) sessions begin.

This week files on the isolation imposed upon Ocalan and the indefinite and non-alternate hunger strikes against the isolation are to be submitted to the permanent representation offices of 45 members of the Council of Europe. Several have already been submitted and the representation offices have been informed that the visits will continue.

The activists relayed their demands to the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) officials last week, and HDP MP Meral Danis Bestas and HDP Representative Fayik Yagizay met with CoE Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović. In these meetings the HDP committee had pointed to the total isolation imposed upon Ocalan, Leyla Guven’s hunger strike and the hunger strikes in prisons, Strasbourg and various other cities that have continued for weeks.

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