Press release hunger strikers

To the press and public


The indefinite hunger strike, which we started at the 1st March 2012 in Strasbourg with the demand ‘Freedom for Ocalan, Status for Kurdistan’, today reached its 52 days.


We, 15 Kurds (5 women, 10 men), started this action as Initiative for the Freedom of Ocalan with 6 main demands. Central for us is the health, security and freedom of our leader Ocalan. While some of our demands are long term aims, the most urgent demand of our hunger strike is to break the total isolation of Abdullah Ocalan.


We aim to show the public the solitary confinement and isolation politics on the prison island Imrali, which are also known as ‘Imrali system’ and put pressure on European institutions, which do not fulfill their responsibilities. The Council of Europe, the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and the European Court of Human Rights have been staying silent in behalf of the trial of Mr. Ocalan, his life conditions, his health and security, the human rights violations against him and special politics of the Turkish institutions against his person. Since nearly 9 months, neither his lawyers nor his relatives are able to visit him at the island prison Imrali. There is no information on behalf of his situation since 9 months. These points show clearly that the named European institutions are not answering to their responsibilities. The Kurdish people and their friends, who are extremely concerned, cannot accept this situation.


We, 15 Kurds, are continuing our hunger strike since 52 days for ending these concerns, creating an consciousness within the society and being the voice of the Kurdish people and their demands.


We want to declare that our action has reached a new step. Together with our hunger strike, the legitimate and just demands of the Kurdish people and the freedom of our leader Ocalan as a realistic idea and object got an important acceptance. Also the institutions of the European Union and the Council of Europe are conscious on our demands and the aims of this action. Furthermore we can see that a wide front of friends of the Kurdish people and the Kurdish freedoms movement are in solidarity with this action.


The Kurdish people in all Europe and also Kurdistan did not leave us alone a single day. They supported this hunger strike with their own actions and worked hard for the success of the strike. They have been all the time in action for the freedom of our leader Abdullah Ocalan.


The demands for securing the health, security and freedom of Abdullah Ocalan will continue as a campaign. His freedom is not only possible, it is also realistic. His freedom depends on our struggle. We believe that together with this action, this consciousness grew. Our action got a big support from the public at its 52 day. We reached a moment, where we believe that the European institutions will plan first steps against the ongoing isolation of our leader Ocalan.  In this case, press statements had been published by the Council of Europe (13th of April 2012) and the President of the European Parliament (18th of April 2012). Together with talks between some supporters of our action and these institutions we came to the result that our demands will be taken into account by these institutions and that practical steps will follow. For fastening and facilitating their work, we declare that our hunger strike action reached its aim and therefore its end.


We want to thank all the people that did not leave us alone and supported us with their ideas, their consciousness and their actions, especially the Kurdish people, our European and Turkish friends, the alternative and oppositional press. We want to underline that the result of this action is a product of our collective struggle.


Finally special thanks to the St. Maurice Church. Since the very beginning of our action, they gave us their opportunities, kept their doors all the time open, showed big support and solidarity. Therefore we want to thank them and the whole Christian community.


Initiative for the Freedom of Ocalan – Members of the indefinite hunger strike




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