Stockholm 07 November 2012
To President of Turkey Mr Abdulah Gül
I the middle of September 2012 a group of nine female prisoners started a hunger strike in the prison of Diyarbakir. Hundreds of prisoners followed their example. It is the biggest hunger strike in Turkey in modern times. Most of them has been in imprisoned since 2009 and have not been taken court for trial.
The hunger strikers demand full cultural rights for the Kurdish people in Turkey. Therefore they demand to talk and hold their speeches for their defence in their mother tongue, Kurdish, in court. Because of this the prisoners are denied a fair trial.
The human rights organization IHD has demanded that the Turkish government must respect the Malta Declaration when it comes to the treatment of the hunger strikers.
The Turkish government has however not commented the situation at all and Turkish media has been silent about the situation in the prisons, which now is very critical for many of the hunger strikers. If the Turkish government does not act there is a great risk that people in the prisons will die, which will make a peaceful solution of the Kurdish question more difficult. Now after two months of hunger strike people in the prisons can begin to die any minute.
Now after having kept these people in prison for three years without a fair trial
the Turkish authorities must immediately release them or organize fair trials and
the Turkish government must find a way to start serious talks or negotiations with Kurdish leaders and organizations.
Member of the Swedish Parliament