Dr. Gulsen: Strasbourg hunger strikers are in critical condition

via ANF-News

Dr. Fahrettin Gulsen pointed out that the health of Strasbourg hunger strikers continues to deteriorate and added that their demands must be accepted. Dr. Gulsen said: “There is also a high risk of losing the hunger strikers at the point of intervention.”

Doctors warn that it can still be too late for the 14 activists on an indefinite non-alternating hunger strike in Strasbourg, France protesting the isolation even if there is a medical intervention in case of crises or comas, which could happen at any time.

Dr. Fahrettin Gulsen spoke about the most recent medical checkup for the hunger strikers, who have now been on a hunger strike for over 100 days. Dr. Gulsen said the previous symptoms they had are now at a more severe stage.

Dr. Gulsen said it is now possible for the symptoms to result on serious complications and pointed to the fatigue and weakening of the hunger strikers’ bodies accelerated by the weight loss.


Dr. Gulsen said that with the weakening of their bodies, the hunger strikers are at greater risk for cardiac issues or outright attacks, and added: “We had stated before that their systems are showing all possible symptoms, and that the life threatening issues that could arise as a result had been giving us concern. At this point it would be correct to say that we don’t sleep at nights, keeping watch.”

Dr. Gulsen said there are two doctors monitoring the activists and they work in shifts. He continued:

“There are two doctors monitoring the activists around the clock in shifts. The activists have a serious case of insomnia, so they don’t sleep at night. The insomnia, accompanied with the other issues, has become a serious problem. Insomnia creates this great problem in hunger strikes where the constant fatigue and aggravated status makes life harder for them.”


Dr. Gulsen said serious complications can also arise in the digestive systems of the activists and added that bleeding in particular is a great concern for the doctors. Dr. Gulsen also said loss of kidney function is another point of concern, and added that kidney and digestive issues as well as cardiac issues will come up more in the coming days.

Dr. Gulsen said cardiac issues are accompanied with arrhythmia, hypotension and tachycardia which could lead to cardiac arrests, and are coming up more frequently. Dr. Gulsen pointed to the possibility of tachycardia causing more issues in kidneys or other organs and added that the hunger strikers resisting treatment means that they are unable to take precautions against possible risks.


Dr. Gulsen said it is only possible for them to intervene if the activists lose consciousness, enter a coma or experience an attack: “And at that point, we can’t say for certain that we could save them even if we did intervene. It’s not correct to say we can save hunger strikers in case of an attack or a coma, there is a great risk of losing the patient at the time of intervention as well.”

Dr. Gulsen said instead of doctors explaining the symptoms, at this point society must figure out a way to put a stop to the protest: “Everybody must know that at this stage, the symptoms are making life extremely difficult for hunger strikers and they could trigger an attack or a coma at any point.”

Dr. Fahrettin Gulsen called on all institutions and said: “Institutions that value human life must make more haste. Otherwise, if we don’t take serious initiative to actualize the purpose of these people, it is a matter of time before the activists lose their lives. As a doctor I can say this definitively.”

Dr. Gulsen said the only thing they themselves can do is to let the activists and their families know about the health issues and risks to their life, and added that they had issued calls to health organizations before.


Dr. Gulsen said there have been some medical units who came to give checkups to the hunger strikers on the orders of regional authorities from the French Health Ministry, but the hunger strikers refused their checkups and offers of treatment.

Dr. Gulsen said they informed the medical units that the hunger strikers are on a hunger strike for a political cause.

Activists spoke to the French emergency medical units and said, “If you are here as a health organization, report the issues here to your own institutions, and they can relay those at once to the CPT and the CoE and pressure them to take action.”


Dr. Gulsen said the French medical units said at least 4 of the activists need to be hospitalized and that they are at risk of losign their lives otherwise. Dr. Gulsen said the French doctors checked the medical reports they had kept there and agreed with them.

Dr. Gulsen said Kurds and their institutions, as well as European institutions and humanitarian organizations, should take action and called on all to do whatever is possible to implement the demands. Dr. Gulsen stressed that any efforts that will come after an activist loses their life will remain insufficient and added: “The responsibility for any deaths will be with institutions and individuals who were silent.”


Dr. Gulsen concluded his words with requesting that visitors to the hunger strikers be extremely cautious against infections. Dr. Gulsen said the activists are mostly bedridden at this point and added that visits are only possible through approval by the medical team, which relies on using masks and using disinfectants.


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