Dağ and Er end hunger strike as prison management meets their demands

Mazlum Dağ and Abdurrahman Er, sentenced to death in Hewlêr, have ended their hunger strike. The decision was preceded by a promise by the prison management to meet the demands of the two prisoners.

Death prisoners Mazlum Dağ and Abdurrahman Er imprisoned in Southern Kurdistan have ended their hunger strike. As Dağ expressed in a telephone call from a prison in Hewlêr (Erbil) with his relatives on Monday, the prison management had agreed to fulfil the more than just demands of the two activists. Earlier in the day, it had been reported that Dağ and Er were in critical condition and suffering from stomach bleeding.

Mazlum Dağ and Abdurrahman Er had been on death fast since 12 February, refusing solid food, and no longer taking liquid. The background to this radical form of protest were allegations of massive violations of fundamental rights. Relatives of Dağ and Er had voiced that the activists were being deprived of basic needs in prison and that contact with their outside world was being cut off. Written communication was forbidden, financial support and clothing did not arrive. The prison administration did not respond to more than fifty complaints against this treatment and other requests from the two. In contrast, ISIS prisoners are treated preferentially and sometimes even have special rights, according to reports.

Mazlum Dağ and Abdurrahman Er (also known as Muhammed Beşiksiz) are accused of shooting Turkish Vice Consul and intelligence officer Osman Köse and two others in a luxury restaurant in Hewlêr, the capital of Southern Kurdistan autonomous region, on 17 July 2019. In February 2020, they were sentenced to death by the 2nd Criminal Court of Hewlêr in a show trial under pressure from Turkey. Immediately following the trial, the two activists were even placed in a prison cell of ISIS jihadists. On 22 September 2020, the death sentences were confirmed by the Court of Cassation.