Kurdish hunger strike nears 90 days as campaigners protest outside Senedd

(Title Image: Welsh Solidarity Imam Sis)

Supporters of 32-year-old Imam Sis, from Newport, held a protest outside the Senedd yesterday afternoon (11th March 2019).

A hunger strike – which a number of members of the Kurdish diaspora around the world, including Sis, are participating in – is in protest of the imprisonment of Abdullah Öcalan, the former leader of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), by Turkey.

Campaigners argue that since Öcalan’s imprisonment in 1999 for treason – originally a death sentence later commuted to life imprisonment – he’s been subjected to inhumane treatment, including solitary confinement and being denied access to legal counsel.

While AMs and MPs – namely from Plaid Cymru and Labour – have either endorsed the protest or raised the matter in the Senedd chamber, the campaigners are demanding an official statement from either the Senedd or the Welsh Government calling for Turkey to allow anti-torture officials to visit Öcalan in prison.