5 prisoners who went on a hunger strike on December 16 in the Gebze Type M Prison are now in a critical condition.
Banned news agency Dicle News Agency’s (DIHA) former reporter Meltem Oktay provided information on the hunger strikes in the Gebze Type M Closed Women’s Prison where she is also imprisoned, awaiting trial.
In a phone call with her family, Oktay said prisoners Hacer Halil Yusuf, Ruhsan Bozan, Ozlem Ozdemir, Ayten Gulsum and Ozlem Soyler, who joined the hunger strike launched across all prisons on December 16, are in a critical condition.
Oktay said the following on the health of the hunger strikers: “The hunger strikers in the first group have lost 8 to 10 kilos. Their blood pressure and pulse are very low. They have severe headaches, muscle pain and joint pain. They have nausea, fevers and fatigue. They are very sensitive to sounds and smells, and are starting to have balance problems as they walk. There is serious slurring in their speech as well.”
Oktay said the prison doctor went to check on the hunger strikers twice a week: “The resident doctor always wants to refer them to the hospital, but the hunger strikers say they will refuse treatment.” Oktay added that water, sugar, salt and lemons that are vital for hunger strikers are provided by the prison administration in limited quantities.
Oktay said there are a total of 31 prisoners on a hunger strike as of March 1.
Oktay also added that the Yeni Yasam newspaper is not given to the hunger strikers by the prison administration as it could “give them morale”.