Solidarity for Kurdish hunger striker Leyla Guven

Issued by the Office of the ILPS Chairperson
Prof. Jose Maria Sison
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
29 January 2019

We, the International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS), extend our solidarity and support for Leyla Guven, a Kurdish Parliament member of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), who has been on hunger strike for 78 days now to demand the end of the solitary confinement of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan and other political prisoners in various prisons in Turkey.

Solitary confinement is considered one of the most serious violations of human rights against persons who are in detention. It is strictly prohibited under United Nations Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Mandela Rules) adopted by the UN in May 2015.

The ILPS Chairperson is keenly aware of the gravity of the psychological and physical torture in solitary confinement because he was subjected to this for most of the 9 years when he was imprisoned by the Marcos fascist dictatorship. Ocalan has been in solitary confinement far longer.

Leyla Guven is herself in prison for opposing the illegal aggression perpetrated by the Turkish government against the Kurdish town of Afrin in Syria. She has been joined in hunger strike by more than 150 other political prisoners in various jails throughout Turkey and Kurdistan. 15 Kurdish political leaders have also gone on hunger strike in Strasbourg in support of the demand for an end to the continued solitary confinement of Abdullah Ocalan.

Abdullah Öcalan, who is the acknowledged leader of the Kurdish liberation movement in Turkey and other Kurdish regions in Syria, Iran and Iraq, has been in solitary confinement in the Imrali island prison since his abduction in 1999. He is therefore entering his 20th year in absolute solitary confinement except for short periods when his lawyers were permitted to talk to him.

We join the many prominent progressive personalities around the world who have signed the International Appeal For Ending The Isolation Of Abdullah Öcalan And All Political Prisoners In Turkey and the 50 Nobel Prize Laureates who have issued a call for an end to the continued solitary confinement of Abdullah Öcalan and other political prisoners in Turkey.

We call on all member organizations of the ILPS around the world to express their solidarity and support for the call for an immediate end to the solitary confinement of Abdullah Öcalan and all political prisoners in Turkey. We likewise call on all progressive organizations and forces around the world to do the same.

Long live international solidarity!
Long live the struggle of the Kurdish people for national self-determination!

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