Peoples’ Democratic Party MP for Hakkari and Democratic Society Congress (DTK) Co-Chair Leyla Güven has sent letters to President of the European Parliament (EP) Antonio Tajani and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), explaining the purpose of her hunger strike, which she has been on for 85 days.
In her letter, Güven asserted that lifting the isolation on Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan will help democracy and asked for necessary attempts to be accelerated.
Leyla Güven, who was arrested at the Diyarbakır Type E Prison until January 25, has begun a hunger strike on November 7, 2018, with a plea for lifting the isolation on Öcalan.
This is the 85th day of the hunger strike.
“I urge the EP to play its constructive role”
In her letter to Tajani, Güven said the following in brief:
“I believe that the clear positions taken by all the institutions that collectively constitute the European Union are going to be crucial for the restarting of the process of conflict resolution.
” Through your office, with respect and gratitude, I greet all those who have issued solidarity messages from the European Parliament in support of my hunger strike. To break the isolation system, which is turning Turkey into an intolerable regime, you and your institution must take urgent action. As a parliamentarian, I particularly urge you and the European Parliament to play your constructive role in this process.
“A legitimate action to defend a legitimate right”
Güven made the following remarks in her letter to the CPT:
“My indefinite hunger strike is not an individual demand, but a legitimate action to defend a legitimate right. More than 300 political prisoners have now joined this ever-expanding action.
“The lifting of the isolation against Mr. Öcalan is, according to the statutes of the CPT and the decision of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, not favour or privilege, but rather correlates directly with the defense of fundamental rights such as universal human rights and the independence of the judiciary.
“I am convinced that the CPT will use its authority and powers to accelerate the necessary steps that must be taken against the unlawful isolation in the Imrali prison, and I expect you to make a constructive contribution and assume your institutional responsibilities in recognition of the increasing tension and sensitivity both in Turkey and worldwide.”
Support from Sweden
50 people including MPs, EP members, and local authorities have signed a petition for Leyla Güven.
The petition pointed out Güven’s concerning medical condition:
“Abdullah Öcalan’s isolation, HDP MPs not having immunity, criminalization of the Kurds’ representation and participation in the politics are an indicator of non-democracy in Turkey.
“We call the international community to raise their voice to make the Council of Europe and Committee for the Prevention of Torture force Turkey to end the isolation on Abdullah Öcalan.”