Thousands of people in Kurdistan, Turkey and Europe have entered an open hunger strike to reject the intensive isolation imposed on the Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan and demand his freedom, which has been going on for several months amid global silence. Our agency, Hawar news (ANHA) interviewed with doctors who are following the strikers' status.
Dr. Mohamed Sherif Demir, the head of the doctors' room, discussed the health situation of the parliamentarian Leyla Guven, whose strike entered the 163 day. He confirmed that she had entered a very serious stage, as well as the conditions of the strikers in Turkish prisons whose strike entered the 125 days are critical. He pointed that no precise information was obtained about their status for refusal of the Turkish occupation authorities to give permission to doctors' entry to the prison for examining them.
Leyla Guven's health conditions are deteriorating
In his speech, Doctor Mohamed Sherif Demir noted that during his last visit to the activist Leyla Guven and examining her, many symptoms of deterioration of her health to a dangerous stage such as mental fatigue and forgetfulness, and the inability to concentrate, in addition to complaining Leyla from her bother by the lights, and chronic headaches in her head, foggy vision and inability to see well showed on her.
Demir recounted other symptoms that has been appeared on Leyla Guven such as the many convulsions in the muscular and skeletal systems, which accompany great pains.
Vitamin B1 is not given
According to Demir, there are about 5,000 hunger strikers in prisons, but authorities do not allow doctors and special committees to visit them and see their conditions.
Demir said that the information provided by lawyers and detainees' families indicates the deterioration of the health situation of hunger strikers and the emergence of many symptoms such as exhaustion, poor vision, and low blood pressure, especially among detainees who entered the strike at an early time, as well as symptoms of diarrhea and headache. Information was obtained that the prison's authorities did not give the strikers vitamin B1, nor the saline and sugary fluids were distributed on time, and some detainees were placed in solitary confinement.
'Life must triumph, not death'
Dr. Mohammed Sherif Demir appealed to everyone to act responsibly, pointing out that the hunger strikers may lose their lives. "This time, we hope life to be triumphed instead of death," he said.
Nasir Yagiz has not slept for two days
Nasir Yagiz has been on hunger strike for 150 days. The doctor overseeing the Yagiz case, Dora Oron confirmed that Yagiz has lost 20 Kg of weight. He also noted that he suffers from poor vision and hearing, "he talks with difficulty, suffers from concentration, does not accept to have medication, suffers from insomnia, and has not been able to sleep for two days."
Their demands must be met
Oron said that the health conditions of Nasir Yagiz is critical and cannot receive visitors, as demanded to meet the demands of hunger strikers.
Deterioration of the strikers' health in Strasbourg
15 Kurdish people have been on hunger strike in Strasbourg for 124 days. Doctor Fakher al-Din Kolshen confirmed the deterioration of the health conditions of the strikers and showing symptoms of fatigue and low blood pressure, in addition to vertigo, diarrhea and other digestive problems which resulted in endangering the lives of strikers.
All strikers suffer from problems in the nervous system
Doctor Fakher al-Din Kolshen said that most hunger strikers suffer from loss of balance, inability to stand on their feet. "Currently, there are some strikers who cannot get out with the family without help" in addition to weakness, blurry vision and light sensitivity due to the loss of vitamin A.
The strikers refuse to take medicine
Dr. Fakher al-Din Kolshen warned of serious repercussions on the lives of hunger strikers if measures are not taken to treat these cases, which could lead to loss of life, stressing that the strikers refuse to take medicine and are currently taking only salt water, carbonate, sugar and vitamin B1.
The Committee against Torture must respond to the demands of strikers
Kolshen said they had sent a letter to all health institutions and organizations since the third week of the strike and called for the hunger strike to continue, but medical organizations did not respond to their request.
Doctor Fakher al-Din Kolshen appealed to international medical organizations to follow up the hunger strikers. He added, "In 2019, if a person loses his or her life in Europe for their legitimate demands, this will be a great disgrace to democracy and European rights, so we demand the Committee against Torture and the Council of Europe to intervene immediately and respond to the hunger strikers' demands."