Fuat Kav, spokesperson of the Freedom for Ocalan Initiative, is taking part in the indefinite hunger strike that started on the 1st of March in Strasbourg. Kav stated that as long as the Kurdish people do not attain their true identity hunger strikes will always occur. Kav has been in many hunger strikes since the death fast in 1982 all the way through to the year 2000 when he was freed. After 30 years he is once again starving himself.
The indefinite hunger strike that started on the 1st of March by 15 people is continuing at ST. Maurice Church. The strikers that call themselves the Freedom for Ocalan Initiative have put up banners stating their demands. At the entrance of the garden a banner reads “Freedom for Ocalan, Democratic autonomy for the Kurds” just underneath the banner there is placard which specifies which day the strike is on.
In May 2011 Kav published a book called Mavi Ring which explained what went on during the big death fast in the prison of Diyarbakir 30 years ago. After 30 years, Kav is now on hunger strike but not in a Turkish prison but in a European city.
Kav tried to remember how many times he had been on hunger strike in the past 30 years. As he tries to calculate how long he has been in a hunger strike in all of the past 30 years, he says with a smile, “I’ve been starving for a total of almost 4 years”. If I have to starve myself once again 10 years after my release from prison then this shows that not much has changed in the way of the Turkish and Western states view of the Kurds.
Kav lists a few of the hunger strikes he participated in over the years. Since the death fast of 1982 Kav has been on hunger strikes that have lasted for 64 days, 51 days, 37 days, 45 days, 17 days and 27 days.
Kav says that although the circumstances of the hunger strikes are not the same as the strike he is on this time, the core reasons behind them are the same. He says that the Kurds are a people that as a whole live in custody; they are a people that have been left to starve and die. This is because they are a people without a homeland and their own land is under occupation so therefore they have always been treated as prisoners.
“In every strike we always got a result, we will also get a result this time” says Kav. With this strike we will save the Kurds from the chamber of death and smash the policy of isolation on Ocalan. Until the Kurdish people attain their real identity, the freedom of their own language and a reunion with their leader these indefinite hunger strikes and other activities will continue.
Kav states that although their initial demand is for the isolation on Mr. Ocalan to cease and for some information on Mr. Ocalan’s health and security, he states that ultimately they want the freedom of Mr. Ocalan. “We know that without the freedom of Mr. Ocalan we cannot sustain a permanent peace or a real fraternity between the Kurdish and Turkish people”.
Kav finally called upon the Committee to Prevent Torture and the European Council to break their silence on the isolation applied to Mr. Ocalan and the anti-democratic measures applied against the Kurdish people. Kav reminded the Christian community that “when Jesus was struggling against the tyrants, although he was against violence, he still did not bow to the tyrants and did not hesitate in being put on the cross and crucified”.