Hunger strike in Strasbourg: Day 65

The 14 Kurdish activists on hunger strike in Strasbourg re protesting the isolation of Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan.

The 14 Kurdish activists on hunger strike in Strasbourg have said that will not give up their action.

They are protesting the isolation of Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan and are now faced with several health problems.

The hunger strikers are closely monitored by doctor Fahrettin Gülşen who said that if the competent and responsible institutions do not act, quickly the life of activists is a step closer to death.

A day in the life of the hunger strikers

The 14 activists have been on hunger strike since 17 December. They have carried out the first 52 days of their action at the local Democratic Kurdish Community Center in Strasbourg.

For the past 13 days the activists moved to a larger hall in 273 Avenue de Colmar den, because of growing health problems being affected by the small size of the hall.

Every day doctor Fahrettin Gülşen and his colleagues closely monitored the activists, who, in recent weeks became increasingly tired and need to spend more time in the bed. The hunger strikers received visitors, chat with them and from day 40 of their fast they have been located in a different area to avoid further risks to the activists’ health.

However, despite all precautions, some activists are offered to go out into the open air for health reasons such as difficulty in breathing.

In addition, despite their many problems, the hunger strikers want to meet visitors who often have traveled thousands of kilometres to visit them for a few minutes.

Apart from the compulsory cases, the rest of the activists staying in the dormitories in the sections allocated to them stands out. However, the latest developments are followed.

Health problems

During the 64 days of the hunger strike, activists have lost between 12 and 14 kilograms, and this was reason for concern for doctors because of the age of some of the activists.

Some activists have lost up to 20 percent of their weight.

The other concern for doctors is the muscular loss as this will cause permanent problems to activists.

After the regular check up carried out by doctors, Gulistan Ike was said to have some heart problems, especially rhythm disorders, as well as eyes problems and she was complaining of weakness, headache, nausea and sensitivity to sound.

According to the doctors, Gülistan Ike may experience a heart failure in the following days. On the other hand, if the hunger strike persists, Ike’s problem may have consequences difficult to calculate in the future.

Sleeping problems

Hunger striker Nurgül Başaran has complained of stomach cramps, fluid retention, nausea and vomiting, as well as the rise or sudden lowering in blood pressure, heart problems.

Başaran, who has experienced heavy weight loss, is only able to sleep 3 hours a day and this is a problem.

According to doctor Fahrettin Gülşen, these sleeping problems are serious as they may affect the heart as well as the nervous system of the activist.

HDP former deputy Dilek Öcalan has been experiencing serious problems in recent days.

Activists are on the 65th day of the indefinite hunger strike and Dilek Öcalan, who suffers from serious concentration problems, is sensitive to noise, nausea and vomiting, as well as fatigue, suffers also from lack of fluid.

Like for Başaran the biggest health problem for Öcalan is the inability to sleep: according to the information given by the doctor, she can only sleep an average of two hours a day.

Future health problems for Dilek Öcalan, said doctors, may affect intestines and stomach, as well as damage to the nervous system or cardiac arrhythmia.

Hunger strike Ekrem Yapıcı has experienced significant weight loss, abdominal pain and nausea.

Nervous system problems

Hunger striker and KNK Foreign Affairs Committee member and academic, Kardo Bokani, has suffered problems to the nervous system and the eyes.

According to doctors, his sight can be severely damaged. Bokani is also complaining of insomnia, sensitivity to noise, muscles problems and hardening in the intestine.

Sarıkaya and Koç health problems

Hunger striker and politician Mustafa Sarıkaya is suffering various muscles problems, as well as difficulty in breathing, due to an inflammation in his lung.

He also suffers from insomnia and nausea.

On the 47th day of the action, KCDK-E co-chair and hunger strike Yüksel Koç has suffered from lung infections and chest contractions.

In addition to frequent nausea and pain, as well as pain in the brain nerves and pain in the ears, symptoms such as tinnitus and sensitivity to noise are frequently seen in him.

Doctors warn of the possibility that his heart will be affected as a result of his age. This is why he is being especially monitored by doctors.

Hospitalisation can occur at any time

Hunger striker Kerem Solhan was hospitalized three weeks ago, and his situation is being particularly monitored. Solhan has lost 20 percent of his weight and has problems related to lung, urine and kidney infections.

Solhan is being forced to spend long time in bed as he is suffering from muscle problems, loss of consciousness and difficulty in getting fluid.

In the coming days doctors are expecting more problems to arise, with renal failure being a possibility. Doctors are concerned because hunger strikers said they won’t accept treatment.

The oldest hunger striker lost 25 percent of his weight

Agit Ural is 57 years old and the oldest of the activists. He lost up to 25 percent of his weight and has problems in his muscles.

Ural is frequently complaining of nausea, low blood pressure, sleep problems and sensitivity to smell, and is also having difficulty in taking liquids. He is spending long hours in bed.

One of the youngest activists in the hunger strike, Deniz Körgüt, also suffered a big weight loss as well as blood pressure rhythm disorder, nausea, sound sensitivity.

In addition to problems such as muscle problems, muscle cramps, sensitivity to smell and noise, Ramazan Imir also complained from nausea, dizziness and inability to sleep.

Hunger striker Ayvaz Eceadlı has several health problems such as nausea, low blood pressure and sensitivity to sound. He is spending long hours in bed.

Breathing difficulties

Among the hunger strikers, Mehmet Nimet Sevim is also particularly monitored as in addition to weight loss and muscles problems he has troubles in the liver and lungs.

Sevim has problems breathing and need to be taken outside often.

Mehmet Nimet Sevim had been on hunger strike before while he was in prison.

Eastern Kurdistan hunger striker Muhammed Ghaderide is suffering the same problems as the other activists.

According to doctor Fahrettin Gülşen’s assessment, the problems experienced by hunger strikers are those expected to see on the 65th day of fast.

Gülşen points out that the health condition of the activists may worsen in the coming days.

However, hunger strikers are refusing treatment and this clearly pose a threat to their life.

The doctor said that of course as a physician he is very concerned about the refuse to be treated expressed by the activists who are aware of the risks they are facing. Yet, said the doctor, “we will have to respect the will of the activists”.

Call to European institutions and Doctors Without Borders

Doctor Gülşen reiterated his call to Doctors Without Borders and condemned the virtual silence of the European media.

Gülşen added that the blind-deaf-mute attitude towards the humanitarian demands of the activists was very disturbing.