DBP co-chair banned from prison sports after showing solidarity with hunger striker teachers

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Democratic Regions Party (DBP) Co-chairperson and former pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP) parliamentarian, Sebahat Tuncel

Pro-Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP) Co-chairperson Sebahat Tuncel, who was arrested in November 2016 on terror charges, was banned from sports activities in the prison where she is being held after she went on a hunger strike in solidarity with imprisoned educators Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, who have been on a hunger strike for more than 200 days in a bid to return to their jobs.

According to the ANF news agency, Tuncel said in a letter from Kandıra Prison that she was prohibited from participating in sports activities after holding a three-day hunger strike in July in solidarity with Gülmen and Özakça.

Underlining that sports activities were the only time she is able to talk to other inmates, Tuncel said it is not important that she was banned from sports activities while people are losing their lives on the outside.

“I will appeal the decision to be able to see my friends here again. The judiciary of the new regime has taken hold,” she said.

Tuncel, who is also a former deputy of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), was reportedly injured by the police when she was being detained on Nov. 6, 2016 and was subsequently hospitalized.

After being fired by government decree following a failed coup last year, Gülmen and Özakça were arrested on terror charges on May 23 in Ankara while they were on 76th day of their hunger strike. They are continuing the hunger strike in prison.

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