Yet another jailed hunger striker takes own life in protest of Öcalan’s ‘isolation’

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Photo by Uriel Soberanes (Unsplash)

A jailed man who went on a hunger strike on March 1 in protest of the “isolation” of imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Öcalan committed suicide in a prison in the southern Turkish province of Osmaniye, being the fifth victim of such political suicides in a month, the Mezopotamya news agency reported on Tuesday.

The inmate, Siraç Yüksek, was among the dozens of hunger strikers in several prisons across Turkey to protest Öcalan’s prison conditions.

Yüksek’s body was sent to the Adana Council of Forensic Medicine for an autopsy, and he will be buried in Mardin’s Nusaybin district.

He was arrested in May 2016 during a curfew imposed on Nusaybin at the time, according to Mesopotamia.

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 a hunger strike seeking an improvement in Öcalan’s prison conditions.

The deputies are protesting Öcalan’s inability to speak with his lawyers, referring to it as his “isolation.”

HDP deputies criticize the silence of society in the face of hunger strikes that have been increasing among Kurdish politicians across the country.

In March, four other jailed hunger strikers committed suicide in protest of the public silence on hunger strikes in several Turkish prisons over the “isolation” of Öcalan.

In the meantime, another inmate recently died in a prison in İzmir due to medical complications arising from a hunger strike. The inmate, Yonca Akıncı, had been incarcerated for four years at the Şakran Prison for Women in İzmir.

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