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Kurdish hunger strike in Turkish jails reaching critical phase - Crowe

7 November, 2012 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Diaspora, Seán Crowe TD, has expressed concern that the hunger strike of Kurdish prisoners in Turkey is reaching a very critical point and a deal must be negotiated immediately.

The hunger strike began on the 13th of September with 63 people involved and it is reported that 600 prisoners are now on indefinite hunger strike.

Crowe was speaking after meeting a group highlighting the hunger strike and human rights abuses against the Kurdish people outside Leinster House today.

Speaking after the meeting Deputy Crowe said:

“I am very concerned for the health of the 63 Kurdish prisoners who began their hunger strike 56 days ago.

“This hunger strike has entered a very critical phase and a negotiated settlement must be found urgently. There is mounting concern that the first prisoners on hunger strike could start to die with the next 10 days, according to Turkey’s main medical association.

“The prisoners' demands are reasonable and non-threatening, these include: the right to education and a legal defence in their native language of Kurdish; and the start of direct peace talks to resolve the outstanding conflict by peaceful and constitutional means.

“I have signed an open letter to the Turkish Prime Minister urging him to respect the reasonable demands of the hunger strikers and open a meaningful dialogue with the prisoners and their representatives.”


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