Dear Member and colleague,
I want to draw your attention to the dramatic situation of fifteen Kurdish hunger strikers in Strasbourg – where we are going next week for the EP plenary session – and to suggest a solidarity action in their support.
On March 1st, fifteen Kurds from several European countries joined an ongoing and indefinite hunger strike in Strasbourg, started by 400 other political prisoners in Turkey since mid-February. The fifteen people on hunger strike in Strasbourg’s Saint Maurice Church have been fasting for more than 40 days now. As you can easily imagine, their physical condition is seriously deteriorating from day to day, with some of their lives in real danger.
They started this unprecedented action to protest against Turkish political repression of Kurds, to demand more political freedoms for Kurdish people in Turkey, the restart of negotiations for a political solution to the Kurdish issue in Turkey and the release of all political prisoners, including Öcalan. They are asking the European institutions – including us- and the Council of Europe to do their utmost to protect the Kurds‘ fundamental rights.
Therefore, with MEPs of different political groups, Mrs Leyla Zana, South African Judge Mr Essa Moosa and other national MPs from several European countries and intellectuals, we are going to organize a „solidarity action“ to tell them that we received their political message and to ask them to suspend the fast. I would like to suggest that you participate in this action, which will be organized as follows:
Wednesday 18th April
*) at 13h45, we’ll leave the European Parliament in Strasbourg and reach the place where they’re staying (Église Saint Maurice, Avenue de la Fôret Noire / Rue de Reims), which is near the European Parliament (5-10 minutes by car, we can ask the EP drivers / car service for their assistance to get there);
*) between 14h00 and 14h45, we will visit them to discuss their demands and to check on their physical condition;
*) at 14.45, with cars that some Kurdish friends based in Strasbourg can provide, we’ll return to the European Parliament (we can also ask the EP car service to pick us up and bring us back to the EP).
I would like to suggest that you join this action to lend your humanitarian and political support. Your presence would be so much appreciated by the hunger strikers in Strasbourg.
In order to organize this action properly, can I please ask you to reply to me, or tell me if you can participate in it using your own means? We are also informing the press & media about this action, to amplify the impact of the visit for the hunger strikers.
Thank you for your attention,
MEP Jürgen Klute
for the EP – Kurds Friendship Group