After 200 days, Kurdish hunger strikes end in victory

First published by The Canary

By Eliza Egret

Thousands of Kurdish activists have finally ended their hunger strike. Politicians, political prisoners and activists around the world had been starving themselves to protest the isolation of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan.

Kurdish MP Leyla Güven started the hunger strikes in November 2019, and on 26 May – her 200th day without food – she announced the end of the struggle, stating, “resistance has prevailed”.

In a massive international campaign, solidarity activists around the world have demonstrated, occupied buildings, and contacted politicians and European institutions. In particular, people successfully lobbied the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), asking it to take action and visit Öcalan in prison. All of these actions amplified the voices of the hunger strikers, making their demands heard, and putting pressure on Turkey.

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