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Jail administration investigating former deputy for going on hunger strike

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The administration of Silivri Prison on Friday launched an investigation into jailed former deputy Eren Erdem, who has gone on a hunger strike in protest of his trial.

Former Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Erdem has been in pretrial detention for seven months on terrorism charges.

The İstanbul 23rd High Criminal Court ruled on Jan. 7 to release Erdem pending trial and subject to judicial supervision, but an Istanbul prosecutor had objected to his release, claiming the former deputy posed a flight risk. A higher court subsequently ordered his re-arrest.

Another former CHP deputy Barış Yarkadaş announced the investigation on Friday on Twitter.

On Thursday, Erdem’s father called on his jailed son to halt his hunger strike.

A CHP deputy on Monday said Erdem had “emptied his refrigerator” and was about to launch a hunger strike that he referred to as “justice fasting,” while his lawyers were trying to talk him out of it.

Erdem was first arrested in June 2018, just five days after he failed to secure a seat in the legislature in the parliamentary elections. Charged with “aiding a terrorist organization,” he faces a prison sentence of between nine and 22 years.

“Think about your son, your mother, those who love you. I would like to reach out to politicians, writers: We have failed to convince our son, please talk him out of it,” his father, Hasan Erdem, said in a video message aired on Halk TV.

The elder Erdem was fired on Jan. 8 after protesting a prosecutor who objected to a decision to release his son.

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