Jailed Kurdish HDP co-chair Demirtas announces hunger strike

HDP co- leaders Demirtas and Yüksekdas have been imprisoned by Turkish government

ANKARA – Selahattin Demirtaş, the jailed co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), will start a hunger strike on March 31 to protest inhumane treatment, along with jailed HDP deputy Abdullah Zeydan.

Demirtaş and Zeydan, who are both in prison in the northwestern province of Edirne, said they would go on hunger strike due to the actions of the Edirne prison warden.

“We are going on a hunger strike starting from Friday due to the warden’s refusal to engage in dialogue, his practices outside the boundaries of law, his inhumane treatment of other inmates, and the fact that he didn’t take any well-intentioned step towards ending other inmates’ hunger strikes, which have been going on for days,” Demirtaş said on March 30, in a message addressed to the HDP and the public.

“We invite the public to be sensitive regarding the ongoing hunger strikes and rights violations in prisons,” he added.

A total of 13 Kurdish lawmakers from the HDP, including its co-chairs Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, are currently in jail facing hundreds of years in jail.