Hunger strike in Şakran enters its 48th day, prisoners in a critical stage

Prison hunger strikes continue in Şakran in its 48th, in Sincan in its 39th, in Menemen in its 27th, and in Van in its 25th day. The hunger strike that was launched in all prisons on March 15 also continues.

The indefinite and irreversible hunger strike that the political prisoners at İzmir Aliağa Şakran Prison launched on February 15th for 'an end to the isolation of Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan and the human rights violations in prisons' entered its 48th day.

The health of the prisoners on hunger strike in İzmir's Aliağa Şakran Prison deteriorates further every passing day. The prisoners joining the hunger strike are not given the B1 vitamin they need by the prison administration. They are reported to have suffered heavy weight loss as they have already entered the medically critical stage.

The management of Şakran Prison has threatened the prisoners on strike with torturing them 'in ways that Esat Oktay', who was the administrator of notorious Diyarbakır Prison during the 1980 military coup, did not hire.

In the meantime, the hunger strikes in Sincan, Menemen, and Van have entered their 39th, 27th and 25th day, respectively, while the hunger strike started on March 15 in all prisons also continues.

Names of the prisoners on hunger strike in Şakran Prison:

T3 Closed Section: Zana Yaktın, İhsan Bakaç, Özgür Güçlü, Aslan İlhan; T2 Kapalı Bölümünde: Eren Tekin, Sinan Ekmekçi, Mustafa Akar, Cengiz Doğan, Necdet Kaya, Erhan Aryüz, Murat Duman, Kasım Özdemir.

T4 Closed Section: Nayif Yargın, Veysi Kaya, Yusuf Özdemir, Mıhamed Bru, Abdullah Aksu, Şivan Bilik, Roni Yavuz, Ahmed Azad Hacihamır, Hasan Kasım, Enver Ahmet, Serkan Şahin, Mehmen Emin Dağ and Devran Makas.

Woman prisoners Cihan Asi, Derya Moray, Meryem Söylemez, Hürriyet Doğan and Mahsume Şedal joined the hunger strike on February 25.

The İzmir Solidarity with Prisons Initiative prepared the following report on the human rights violations that prisoners at Aliağa Şakran Prison suffer from:

* Aggravated isolation. Prisoners from different cells cannot see one another in the open air section.

*Standing at attention during roll-calls.

* Overcrowded wards with insufficient number of beds. 15-20 people stay in wards for 10 people. Lack of air due to overcrowdedness.
* Imposition of taking shoes off and putting them back on while entering and leaving the open air section.

* Delayed or denial of access to the doctor. Impositions to have handcuffs during examination.

* Social areas including the library are banned.

* Limitation on books. Introduction of a new ban on books that are not banned outside prisons. Banning of an atlas even due to 'abundant details' and dictionary 'because it is too thick'.

*Solitary confinement for the prisoners that sang Kurdish songs with Kurdish traditional dance halay at the Şakran No. 2 T Type Section.

* Seizure of letters.

* Prisoners forced to wear name tags that read 'terrorist.' Those refusing to wear these are banned from seeing or calling their families.

* Air ventilation holes closed with wires.

* Prisoners are forced to walk in a straight line even when they leave their wards to see their families.

* 4-5 guards deliberately harass prisoners and their families during visit hours. Prisoners protested this harassment on February 7 and ended the visit hour in 10 minutes.

* Prisoners exiled to Şakran are sybject to strip search. Those opposing are forcible stripped and battered.

* 6 children, 1 of whom does not know Turkish, were heavily tortured in the Juvenile's Section in January for speaking in Kurdish.

* The 'Reward permission', which allows prisoners with families based in cities far away from prisons to meet their families for 2-3 hours, has been revoked arbitrarily.

* The prison administration refuses to communicate with prisoners or accept their petitions, as many as 70 times a day from time to time, regarding the violations of their rights.

* İzmir Governorate Human Rights Watch Committee went to the prison and met with prisoners and administrators. Pressures have increased even more 4 days after this visit. Situation of sick prisoners is even worse. Prisoner Cengiz Eker must have angiography but has not been been allowed to see a doctor yet.

* These problems are not settled despite the exhaustion of all legal and administrative methods in prisons.

* Prisoners' only demand is an end to the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan and the humiliating human rights violations against political prisoners.