Families of hunger strikers hold sit-in protest in front of Justice Ministry

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Families of inmates who went on hunger strike. PHOTO: Yeni Demokrasi

Families of hunger strikers in several Turkish prisons who are protesting the “isolation” of jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan held a sit-in protest in front of the Justice Ministry on Tuesday when their request for a meeting with officials was turned down, the Artı Gerçek news website reported.

Eight people from the families of the hunger strikers who travelled from İstanbul to Ankara to meet with ministry officials were unable to do so on the grounds that they did not have an appointment.

A dossier drafted by the families of the hunger strikers about the ongoing hunger strikes in some prisons was also not accepted.

The family members then began a sit-in protest in front of the ministry, which lasted for four hours. They wanted to make a press statement but were prevented by the police from doing so. They eventually left the venue.

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Leyla Güven in November went on a hunger strike when she was jailed on charges of disseminating terrorist propaganda.

Three other HDP deputies are also currently on hunger strikes, seeking an improvement in Öcalan’s jail conditions.

The deputies are protesting Öcalan’s inability to speak with his lawyers, which they refer to as his “isolation.”

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