Hunger strikers’ ward in Turkish prison raided by gendarmes

Turkish prison (File photo)

A relative of one of the prisoners on hunger strike in Izmir’s Sakran Prison since 15 February has alleged that the hunger strikers’ ward was raided by gendarmes late last night.

Around 50 gendarme personnel entered the ward late Saturday night and attacked the hunger strikers reported the daily Ozgurlukcu Demokrasi.

The warden of Sakran Prison came to the hunger strikers’ ward afterwards and threatened the inmates saying that the raids will go on unless they stop their hunger strike, according to a relative of hunger striker Ozgur Guclu who managed to make a phone call after the raid, said the report.

“Hunger strikers are demanding an end to oppression and raids by wardens, the reinstatement of communication between wards, a lifting of the ban on social activities, for books to be allowed and for ill prisoners to be treated,” according to a statement made by political prisoners in Sakran Prison whose hunger strike has now entered the 40th day.

Guclu has called on their lawyers and authorities to intervene rapidly, saying there could be deaths in the prison.

Prisoners are also calling for an end to the isolation of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan and other inmates in Imrali Prison and for a return to the ‘solution process’ of the country’s ‘Kurdish question.’

A statement made by the Izmir Prison Solidarity Initiative on 19 March said prisoners who had begun the strike had lost between 7-8 kilos and their conditions were worsening with many suffering from high blood pressure and blackouts.