14 Kurdish activists have been on indefinite hunger strike in the French city of Strasbourg for 93 days demanding an end to the isolation executed against Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan.
On 17 December 2018, 14 Kurdish activists have gone on hunger strike in Strasbourg demanding the end of the isolation imposed on Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Ocalan.
They are now on the 93rd day of fast and went through their health checks again.
Doctor Fahrettin Gülşen listed the increasing health problems and complications the activists are experiencing: excessive weight loss, increased sensitivity to smell, problems of balance, flu infections, muscle problems. All these problems are basically forcing the activists in bed for almost the entire day.
“Activists have big problems with balance”
The situation of the activists is getting worse, said doctor Gülşen, adding that his statement is not a political statement but the reflection of the situation, which is critical.
Doctor Gülşen added that activists are no longer able to remain standing alone.
“The moment the protesters get up, – said the doctor – their pulse is rising. They are in danger of falling to the ground. They hold onto their beds or walls to keep balance. With the help of someone they can meet their daily needs. The fact that they have been on hunger strike for 92 days means that they are entering a critical period in which death can occur at any moment.”
Doctor Gülşen continued: “The health problems that we had registered before are clearly increasing. We are now monitoring their health for 24 hours. Activists can only sleep for a few hours, which leads to concentration problems. This in turn leads to distraction and forgetfulness.”
“Heart problems are very dangerous”
The doctor also added that they are worried about possible heart complications. “The activists suffer from alternation in the heart beat and this causes heavy headaches, restlessness, fatigue. Heart beat disorder is a very important issue because it could cause the activists to lose their lives. Pulse height is a serious problem in the medical language that causes what we call embolism and leads to a blood clot in the brain, causing the person to suffer a stroke.”
Kidneys and lung function disorders also have increased. Since the body does not receive food from the outside, doctor Gülşen said that at first, it provides the necessary energy using the fat layer but this energy is also finished now.
The doctor pointed out that since the first day of fast “we were giving activists B1 vitamins with salted and sugary water.”
As to visitors coming to support the hunger strikers, doctor Gülşen said that extra precautions must be taken by the visitors. Clearly whoever has any kind of health problem, including flu and cold, should avoid visiting the activists. As activists are in bed most of the time, the doctor advised visitors to not insist on seeing them.
“Listen to our appeal”
Doctor Gülşen warned that the activists are in great danger of losing their life at any time, therefore he called on the international institutions, the Kurdish people and their friends to show sensitivity towards this humanitarian situation.
“We need to be the voice of the activists, – he said – with actions that ensure that the demands of the activists are met. If we don’t want to face any negative development in Strasbourg, we should act quickly.”