Kurdish prisoners end hunger strike after leader’s call

Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Leyla Guven, who was jailed for a short while and who initially launched a hunger strike which other detainees then followed suit, leaves her home to go to a hospital on May 26, 2019 in Diyarbakir, in the Kurdish-majority southeast of Turkey. (AFP)
Updated 27 May 2019

Kurdish prisoners end hunger strike after leader’s call

  • Turkish authorities have allowed lawyers’ visits for jailed militant Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan as a result of the hunger strike

ANKARA: Thousands of prisoners in Turkey ended their hunger strike against the conditions of jailed militant Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, their representative told pro-Kurdish media on Sunday.

“After the call ... we are ending our hunger strikes,” Deniz Kaya said in a statement, quoted by Kurdish news agency ANF, following a call by Ocalan for the hunger strikes to end.

The protest began after Leyla Guven, a lawmaker for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), launched her hunger strike against Ocalan’s isolation in November.

Until May, Ocalan, who co-founded the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), did not have access to his lawyers for eight years.

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The protest began after Leyla Guven, a lawmaker for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), launched her hunger strike against Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan’s isolation in November.

After the first visit on May 2, Turkish authorities lifted an official ban on lawyers’ visits. Then on May 22, his lawyers made a second trip to see Ocalan.

Earlier on Sunday, his lawyer Nevroz Uysal read a message from Ocalan on May 22 in which he said the hunger strikes should come to an end after they had “achieved” their goal.

MP Guven said in a statement that although the hunger strike was successful, “our struggle against isolation and our struggle for social peace will continue in all areas.”

Some 3,000 prisoners across different prisons were on hunger strike and only consuming liquids and vitamin B, the HDP said, in solidarity with Guven who began her action while in custody and continued after she was released earlier this year.

Eight people also killed themselves over the issue, according to the party.

Kaya said 30 prisoners who had begun a “death fast” in April and May — only consuming water with sugar and salt — would also end their action.


Sudan protesters, army postpone announcement on ruling body

Updated 27 min 26 sec ago

Sudan protesters, army postpone announcement on ruling body

CAIRO: Sudan’s ruling military council says the country’s pro-democracy movement has asked for a delay on the announcement of a joint ruling body because of last-minute, internal disputes over appointees.
The 11-member sovereign council is to rule Sudan for a little over three years until elections can be held.
It was created under a power-sharing deal between the military and the protesters and was to be announced on Sunday.
But the military council’s spokesman Shams el-Din Kabashi said Monday that the movement withdrew its appointees to the council and would hold more consultations among its factions.
The development comes after internal disputes within the Sudanese Professionals Association, one of the opposition factions, over its nominee. The SPA had spearheaded Sudan’s protests that led to the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar Al-Bashir.