Police forcibly remove mothers of inmates on hunger strike to prevent sit-in

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Turkish police on Friday forcibly removed the mothers of inmates on a hunger strike after they attempted to hold a sit-in in front of Gebze Prison in Kocaeli province to raise awareness about their sons’ situations.

Video footage showing a police officer pushing the women with a baton to move them away from the prison was posted on Twitter by opposition deputy and human rights lawyer Sezgin Tanrıkulu.

“Will you open an investigation into this police officer?” Tanrıkulu asked the Interior Ministry and the Kocaeli Governor’s Office.

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Leyla Güven went on hunger strike in November protesting jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan’s inability to speak with his lawyers, referring to it as his “isolation.”

As of March, nearly 7,000 HDP members including prisoners joined Güven to protest Öcalan’s “isolation,” with some inmates even committing suicide to draw attention to the hunger strikes.

The families of inmates on hunger strikes have been trying to raise awareness of the situation by means of sit-ins and small demonstrations.

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