A French delegation from the OSCE has written a letter to the Council of Europe

The president of the French delegation from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and senator Michel Billout was written a letter to the President of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland, outlining the ongoing hunger strikes in Strasbourg and prisons across Turkey. Billout requested that the strikers demand to meet with the President of the Council of Europe be met.

Billout outlined the reason for the hunger strikes as the intensified isolation of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. He wrote that the strikers demands included the releasing of Ocalan and all political prisoners in Turkey, the constitutional acknowledgement of the Kurdish people and their right to teach in their mother tongue.

The French senator also stated that another reason for the strike was the ongoing political operations in Turkey which have so far resulted in the imprisonment of 6400 Kurdish politicians since only 2009.

Billout also wrote about his experiences in his most recent trip to Turkey in February. He wrote “between the 12th and 16th of February I visited Diyarbakir. On the 13th of February 160 people were arrested. A further 450 were arrested on the 15th of February. The arrests and violence during Newroz must also be mentioned.”

The senator finished by saying “In protest to all this persecution the Kurdish people have been left no choice but to start this type of protest in the risk of endangering their own lives. The Kurdish people demand that European institutions support their cause and ensure the CPT visits the PKK leader in the Prison of Imrali for which it has jurisdiction to do so. On these grounds I support the Kurdish Associations in their demand to meet with you and sincerely hope you give them a positive response.”




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