French left-wing leader calls for action for hunger strikers

Jean Luc Mélenchon, leader of the left-wing opposition umbrella party La France Insoumise (“Unbowing France”) gave a speech in the National Parliament and called on the government to take action for Guven and other hunger strike activists.

The strongest left-wing candidate in the 2017 elections Jean Luc Mélenchon spoke in a comission meeting in the French National Parliament and called attention to Leyla Guven’s hunger strike and the resistance in Turkey’s prisons.

Mélenchon said Leyla Guven was imprisoned last year during AKP government's arrests for protests against the invasion of Afrin and added that Guven was elected to the Parliament from the HDP while she was in prison.

Mélenchon said Guven is having trouble with her sight on the 77th day of her hunger strike and added that 226 prisoners followed her and started hunger strikes later on.


Jean Luc Mélenchon said he wrote a letter to Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on January 18 to intervene and stated that 26.000 HDP members and administrators have been imprisoned since the coup attempt of July 15. Mélenchon repeated his call for France to intervene immediately.


Mélenchon said the two HDP co-leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag are currently in prison and added that one of their successors Serpil Kemalbay was also arrested in February last year.

Mélenchon stressed that Leyla Guven is a prominent name in the fight against radical political Islam and the fight for freedom and democracy, and said: “I am sure that all of us here agree that Guven’s situation and her arrest is scandalous.”


Jean Luc Mélenchon is the current leader of La France Insoumise group in the National Parliament, and has served as a Senator and a MEP since 1980s.

Mélenchon was the Left Front’s (Front Gauche - FG) Presidential Candidate in the 2012 elections and won 11.10% of the vote. He participated in the 2017 Elections as a La France Insoumise candidate and won 19.58% of the vote, making him the candidate with most votes on the left, but missed the second tour by 1.7%.

Mélenchon is known for his stance on defending Kurds’ rights, and for his sharp opposition to ultra-right leader Marine Le Pen who is making a move for the working class vote.