Kurdish activist Hasbi Çakıcı passes away in The Hague

Hasbi Çakıcı has died in a hospital in The Hague. The Kurdish activist spent four years in prison in Turkey. In 2019, he participated in the mass hunger strike in the Netherlands for freedom for Abdullah Öcalan.

Hasbi Çakıcı has died in a hospital in The Hague. The Kurdish activist took part in the mass hunger strike for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan for 127 days in 2019 and had been suffering from muscle atrophy for two years. He was undergoing medical treatment and slipped into a coma on Thursday and died on Friday.

Çakıcı came from Batman in northern Kurdistan. In his youth, he met Mahsum Korkmaz and the Kurdish liberation movement. He became active in the movement himself and was arrested in Kiziltepe in 1979. In 1983, he was released on parole and continued his political work in Mersin and Antalya. In 1991, he left Turkey and moved to The Hague, where he became involved in the cultural work of the Kurdish Association.

On November 7, 2018, Leyla Güven, an HDP deputy imprisoned in Turkey, went on hunger strike against the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan on the prison island of Imrali, initiating a mass protest that was joined by thousands of people worldwide. Hasbi Çakıcı participated in the hunger strike from January 20, 2019 in The Hague. A day later, he was joined by Hüseyin Yıldız.

The isolation of Abdullah Öcalan was briefly broken with the hunger strike, but in the meantime there has been no sign of life from him and his three fellow prisoners for over a year. Leyla Güven is back in prison after a brief interruption, having been sentenced to 22 years in prison.