Families of hunger strikers fined by Mersin Police Department for holding sit-in

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PHOTO: Artı Gerçek

The Mersin Police Department has fined families of hunger-striking inmates for holding a sit-in near a prison, the Mezopotamya news agency reported on Wednesday.

Fifty-four people have been ordered to pay a fine of TL 320 ($50) each under the misdemeanor law.

Leyla Güven, a Kurdish deputy, went on a hunger strike in November, when she was in jail, to protest a visitation ban imposed on jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan.

Some 3,000 prisoners and other deputies subsequently followed Güven’s lead.

During the hunger strikes, families of the inmates held sit-ins near prisons to draw public attention to the protests.

After the Turkish Justice Ministry lifted the visitation ban and allowed Öcalan’s lawyers to visit their client, the hunger strikes came to an end last weekend.

Speaking to Mezopotamya, some families insisted they would not pay the fine because they had not disturbed the public order.

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