UK Foreign Minister asked to raise issue of prisoners in Turkey

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign wrote to Foreign Secretary Raab and said they were deeply concerned about the situation for political prisoners in Turkey.

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign has written to British Foreign Secretary Rt. Hon. Dominic Raab MP to raise the issue of political prisoners in Turkey.

The Campaign wrote to Raab: "We are deeply concerned about the situation for political prisoners in Turkey. It is of great importance that we don’t allow the accelerating spread of corona virus across the world to provide cover for further violations against those who are in prison, particularly those who are there simply for the expression of peaceful opinions."

The letter reminded that the Turkish government is "engaged in the preparation of a law that will result in the release up to 100,000 prisoners. While this appears to be a progressive step there remains a real danger that political prisoners will not be included in the proposed amnesty. This would be an appalling state of affairs. The spread of corona virus in prisons will result in a deadly outcome for many, especially for older prisoners and those with underlying health conditions. The risks for these prisoners, who have committed no internationally recognised crimes, will be exacerbated by the overcrowding and insanitary conditions in which they are held.  We are concerned that the continuing incarceration in these conditions amounts to a potential death sentence."

The letter added: "As a pro-Kurdish campaign group, we are particularly concerned for the health and wellbeing of Selahattin Demirtas who has reported a heart condition. We are also concerned for the wellbeing of Abdullah Ocalan, the popular leader of the Kurds in Turkey, who is over 70 years old. They, along with all other political prisoners, should not be in prison at all, but the situation now demands immediate attention in light of the threat posed by corona virus."

Peace in Kurdistan called on the British Foreign Secretary to "raise these issues as a matter of urgency with your counter parts in Turkey and in other parts of the world where political prisoners are now at particular risk."