"The lives of hundreds of political Kurdish prisoners should be saved in Turkey"
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10:52:12/11/2012

WFW-Hawler: From the effort of the Kurdish figure outside of Kurdistan (Hozan Mahmood) with a group of Kurdish and foreign activist and journalists ask the international community and the public to take a stand about "The lives of hundreds of political Kurdish prisoners should be saved in Turkey" the appeal is as follows:

 

Urgent appeal:

November 10, 2012

 

To the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR),

To the Parliament of the European Union,

To the Parliament of the United Kingdom,

To Amnesty International,

To Human Rights Watch,

To international media outlets, and

To all political parties, trade unions and freedom lovers across the world:

 

The lives of hundreds of Kurdish political prisoners in Turkey must be saved.

 

We are writing to you regarding the recent wave of mass protests and hunger strikes in Turkey by Kurdish people. 63 Kurdish political prisoners have been on hunger strike for political solution to the Kurdish Question in Turkey since Sept 12th 2012. The hunger strike has been spreading day by day. While by the end of October the number of prisoners on hunger strike reached about 700 in more than 50 prisons, on November 5th spokesperson of the political prisoners declared that from now on 10,000 political prisoners are on hunger strike.

They are striving to gain respect from the Turkish state for their basic human rights that have been suppressed for many decades. These basic rights include such rights as the right to respect for their basic human dignity, which already is enjoyed by people who are not treated like third-class citizens and who do not have to endure degrading discrimination due to their ethnic identity; the right to speak and to write in their mother tongue; and political rights such as the rights to freedom of expression and the right to equal citizenship. In addition, the strikers seek freedom for Abdulla Ocalan, the Kurdish leader of the Workers Party of Kurdistan (PKK) who was kidnapped by the Turkish authorities and has been imprisoned under terrible conditions in Turkish prisons for over 13 years.

Turkey claims to be a modern democratic state while at the same time thousands of Kurds are forced to be Turkish, to renounce their origins, and to live under a false Turkish identity forced upon them violently by the racist, discriminatory laws of the Turkish state. Furthermore, millions of Kurds in Turkey have been subjected to mass murder, displacement, forced relocation, imprisonment, torture, the denial of equal citizenship.

While Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tried to appear as a saviour to other “Muslim” people in Palestine and Somalia by deploying “humanitarian aid”, thousands of Kurdish people in Turkey have been imprisoned and battered simply for wanting to enjoy the same basic rights and freedoms as the rest of the Turkish population.

Since September 2012, more than 700 Kurdish political prisoners in Turkey have been on hunger strike. Their lives are now in grave danger. Medical professionals in Turkey have warned that deaths will start to occur at any moment due to the prolonged hunger strike.

For decades, the nationalist state of Turkey has refused to recognise the existence of Kurds and has banned the Kurdish language and culture. In addition, any political or even cultural activities by Kurdish people have been met by violence. If Turkey calls itself democratic, why then are its prisons overcrowded with Kurdish political activists, mayor, MP’s, women, children, intellectuals, academics, and journalists? This says a lot about the nature and state of Turkish democracy!

We therefore call upon the United Nations organizations and agencies, the Parliament of the European Union, the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and all nongovernmental organisations worldwide to intervene and to put all necessary pressure on the Turkis

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