Resistance grows: Hunger strike in front of the Council of Europe

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via ANF-News

To step up the resistance and in solidarity with the indefinite hunger strike in Strasbourg, activists have also begun an indefinite and alternating solidarity hunger strike in front of the Council of Europe and the CPT.

The hunger strikes launched by DTK co-chair Leyla Güven and followed by many activists in different cities of Kurdistan, Turkey, Europe as well as prisons, are continuing.

The fast deterioration of their health does not stop hunger strikers who said they are determined to continue their fast until isolation against Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan is lifted.

On 17 December, 14 Kurdish activists, among whom are lawyers, journalists, academics, politicians, have gone on indefinite hunger strike in Strasbourg. They are now on their 71st day of fast.

The Freedom for Öcalan Vigil has entered its seventh year and is being held in front of the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture.

To step up the resistance and in solidarity with the indefinite hunger strike in Strasbourg, activists have also begun an indefinite and alternating solidarity hunger strike in front of the Council of Europe and the CPT.

The solidarity hunger strike began with a group of 10 members of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) representing Rojava.

A press statement was read to explain the action which will be taken over by a new group every five days.

The statement signed by the Democratic Kurdish Council in France (CDK-F) underlined that the aggravated isolation of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan is against all international conventions, particularly the European Convention on Human Rights.

Hunger strike for life

In April 2015, talks with Öcalan (who was negotiating on behalf of the Kurdish Freedom Movement) were brought to an end and the Turkish government has since launched a comprehensive war against the Kurdish people, recalled the statement.

The statement also added how violations of human rights have affected all areas of life, from the press to the university, from women to young people. Massacres have become part of the daily life of the Kurds and of those who oppose President Erdoğan.

HDP Hakkari MP Leyla Güven has been on hunger strike against isolation of Öcalan since 7 November. Over 300 prisoners are on hunger strike in Turkish and Kurdish jails. Furthermore, since 17 December, 14 activists have been on hunger strike in Strasbourg, and many others in different European cities as well as in Kurdistan and Canada.

Call to European institutions

Strasbourg has been elected as the center of institutions such as the Council of Europe and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT).

European institutions and European countries, said the statement, should urge Turkey to respect the principles and values ​​of the Council of Europe it has accepted as a member. The demands of the activists to the institutions are:

-These institutions should contribute to the establishment of peace and democracy in Turkey,

-These institutions should act to prevent the death of a Member of Parliament and hundreds of activists who are on hunger strikes for these values,

– Europe must respond to Leyla Güven and other activists who are fighting for human rights, peace and democracy, which are essential to the foundations and credibility of European institutions.

Call to CPT: Take responsibility!

Speaking at the press conference, activist Rüstem Evdo said: “I salute all friends who are on hunger strike demanding the end of isolation against our Leader. I salute especially Leyla Güven.

We have launched this action to demand the removal of isolation against our Leader and for him to be freed. We condemn the silence of the world about isolation. This isolation imposed on our Leader is also imposed on the Kurdish people. Our Leader is resisting but we Kurdish people remain silent. In our prisons, many of our friends have gone on hunger strike to end this isolation. If they are able to carry out such an action between four walls, we outside could do much more.”

Reminding that Leyla Güven has been on hunger strike for more than 100 days, Rüstem Evdo said: “No one with conscience can remain silent. Leyla is fading away, day after day under the eyes of the world. The world remains silent. The Kurdish people have the power to break this isolation by organising a strong resistance wherever they are.”

Evdo ended his remarks by calling on the CPT to take its responsibility and act before is too late.

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