Sarah Glynn from the Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan campaign group visited Strasbourg to meet with Kurdish hunger strikers.
These videos were recorded on 25th January in the Kurdish Community Centre in Strasbourg, where eleven men and three women are on indefinite hunger strike. They have one, simple, demand: that the Turkish Government complies with their own constitution and international conventions on human rights and ends the isolation of imprisoned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) founder, Abdullah Öcalan.
The first hunger striker was Leyla Güven, a Kurdish MP and political prisoner in Turkey, but there are now over 250 people on indefinite hunger strike in Turkish jails, and across the world. The group in Strasbourg expressly call on the European institutions to put pressure on Turkey, which is a member of the Council of Europe. At the time of the recordings, Leyla Güven had just been released from prison on the 79th day of her hunger strike, while the hunger strikers in Strasbourg were on day 40. They explain the reason for their strike and the importance of Öcalan for the movement for a democratic, multi-ethnic, feminist society, and for peace.
These videos were made by Sarah Glynn of Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan and Fiona Napier of Aberdeen Trades Council. The first interviews are with Kardo Bokanî, who Sarah had first met when visiting Rojava last May. The second interview is with Dilek Öcalan, Abdullah Öcalan’s niece, who has been an Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP in Turkey since 2015. The translator is Havin Güneşer, who is a spokesperson for International Initiative Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan/Peace in Kurdistan, and has translated Öcalan’s writing.