Political prisoners in Van launch hunger strike

Political prisoners in Van High Security Prison launched a 3-day hunger strike demanding the exposure of truth on the death of Ramazan Turan.

140 political prisoners in Van High Security Prison started a 3-day hunger strike demanding the prison administration to shed light on the death of 70-year-old Ramazan Turan who died in prison on January 21. The hunger strike started yesterday and will end tomorrow.

The Van Association for Assistance and Solidarity with Families of Detainees and Convicts (TUHAY-DER), the Lawyers' Association for Freedom (ÖHD), Van Bar Association and Human Rights Association (IHD) Van Branch made a joint statement in a meeting on Friday. Families carrying out the Justice Vigil, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and KESK members also attended the meeting held at the Van Bar Association. ÖHD Branch Co-Chair Medeni Gür, who read out the statement, said that the death of prisoner Ramazan Turan has been suspicious from the very beginning.

Gür stated that since there was serious negligence concerning Turan's death, the prisoners in Van High Security Prison turned to the Ministry of Justice regarding the situation and launched a 3-day hunger strike demanding to know the truth.

“The prisoners declared that the administration and observation boards within the prison arbitrarily prepared negative reports, that they prepared biased reports to prevent their release and that all activities were restricted on the pretext of the pandemic. The prisoners demanded from the prison administration to abandon maltreatment and protect the rights of prisoners.”


Gür recalled that there are a total of 1605 sick prisoners, 604 of whom are seriously ill in Turkey’s prisons, according to the latest data.

“Although the provisions of the International Convention to which Turkey is a party are clear, they are not observed, and the health rights of sick prisoners are systematically violated. Sick prisoners who are not able to meet their needs alone in many prisons across Turkey are exposed to months-long quarantine and loneliness under the pretext of pandemic restrictions, and many prisoners are arbitrarily denied treatment and referral to hospital. Furthermore, Forensic Medicine Institutions issue reports saying that seriously ill prisoners can stay in prison, far from scientific and impartial evaluations. The opinions and evaluations of hospitals about prisoners are not considered by the prosecutors and prison administrations.

We call for an immediate end to the practices that lead sick prisoners to death by violating their right to health and life, and an immediate release of all seriously ill prisoners without delay.”

The meeting was concluded with the slogan “Bijî berxwedana zindana” (Long live the prison resistance).