50 to go on hunger strike, demanding news from PKK leader Öcalan
DHA photoA group of 50 people will go on hunger strike until they receive news on Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the leader of a Kurdish-issue focused group announced on Aug. 31 in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
“Even though 46 days have passed from July 15, and even though it is clear that the coup plotting soldiers made an actual attempt toward İmralı [island prison], we haven’t received any objective information regarding Öcalan’s health and security,” Democratic Society Congress (DTK) co-chair Hatip Dicle told journalists, referring to the failed July 15 coup attempt, believed to have been masterminded by the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
“All of our political, legal, diplomatic, humanitarian efforts, which we have been continuing for 510 days, have been let down by the government,” Dicle also said, adding that they had not received any news concerning Öcalan for 510 days.
He said the group will start the hunger strike on Sept. 5 and will only end it when they hear from Öcalan via his lawyers, family members or a political delegation.
The co-chairs of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, several HDP deputies, and other Kurdish issue-focused groups were present at the announcement.
Tension rose at the gathering after the group hung up Öcalan’s poster, which was later removed by the orders of the police.
Shortly after the statement was made, police raided the DTK building in Diyarbakır and seized several documents.