Berlin attempts to criminalize hunger strikes

via ANF-News

The Interior Ministry responded to Die Linke’s written inquiry on the hunger strikes in Strasbourg and attempted to criminalize the protests, implying that solidarity demonstrations will be inspected for connections to banned organizations.

European Democratic Kurdish Society Congress (KCDK-E) Co-chair Yuksel Koc sent a letter to Germany’s President Franz-Walter Steinmeier, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in the name of hunger strikers in Strasbourg on February 13. Yuksel Koc’s daughter Dilan Koc had written another letter on the government’s response afterwards.

19 year old Dilan Koc wrote the following: “If the Federal Government and mainstream German media continue disinterested in the protesters’ demands, these people will die. If you don’t take action, we as the children of hunger strikers will start a sit-in in front of the Federal Parliament and we will go on a hunger strike.”

Die Linke MP Gokay Akbulut took the matter to the Federal Parliament and on February 27 asked the Merkel led government: “What does the Federal government think about the protest planned to take place in front of the Federal Parliament following the response to Dilan Koc’s letter?”


Interior Ministry Undersecretary Hans-Georg Engelke responded to Akbulut’s question. Engelke did not mention the demands of hunger strikers whose health is getting worse, or Dilan Koc’s warning, and only said: “The Federal Government has taken note of the planned action. If the demonstration has connections to banned organizations, the assessment will be made in state interior affairs.”

Die Linke MP Gokay Akbulut protested the Interior Ministry response, which attempted to criminalize the protests that continue throughout Germany to show solidarity with hunger strikes and said, “It seems that the government is disturbed by the questions I asked about the hunger strikes and wants to discourage me from asking more with such empty responses,” adding that she will continue such initiatives.

Hunger strikers’ families held a 3 day vigil in front of the Chancellor’s Office last week in Berlin, demanding an immediate implementation of the hunger strikers’ demands.


Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Andreas Michaelis responded to Akbulut’s question, “What response was given to the letter sent by Yuksel Koc on February 13, how were the letters assessed?” and said: “KCDK-E is an umbrella organization that is close to the PKK in Europe and considered the political arm of the PKK, which is banned in Germany. As such, we cannot respond to the letter sent by the KCDK-E Co-chair on February 13.”


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