Call for Urgent Forum in Diyarbarkir in Solidarity with Hunger Striker Leyla Güven
TO WOMEN ALL OVER THE WORLD:
This is an urgent invitation to come to Diyarbarkır to Defend Life in Solidarity with TJA activist dear Leyla Güven who has been on an irreversible hunger strike since November 8th. She went on the hunger strike when in prison, and after her release on the 79th day she has been continuing it at home. As we write this, she has reached the 106th day. On March 2, TJA will gather a women’s forum to discuss what we can do to press the government to meet her demand and to display our solidarity.
Leyla’s health is in very fragile condition but sheis very determined to go on until her single, unvarnished demand is met: End the aggravated total isolation on Mr. Abdullah Öcalan. In other words, she demands that Mr. Öcalan’s rights to regular lawyer and family visits and lawful rights to communication with the outside world be recognized and respected by the government. This total regime of isolation in force only in the İmrali Island Prison: total obstruction of all lawyer visits and all means of communication with the outside world and denial of regular family visits for 4 years.
The total isolation that deprives Mr. Öcalan of all contact with the outside world is no doubt a very severe violation of human rights and international law as well as Turkish law.
However the issue at hand here is not merely one of simple lawlessness and state torture. Mr Abdullah Öcalan is a leader treasured by millions of Kurds in Turkey and the Middle East; a person of struggle whose on women’s liberation inspire millions of women; a philosopher and politician whose ideas are being widely discussed, a personality whose foresight and evaluations are valued at world, Middle East and Turkey scales. One can agree or disagree with these ideas and evaluations. However, imposing total isolation on such an influential actor on whose ideas and leadership important sectors of people have pinned their hopes, in violation of all legal norms, is a political declaration and action, not a legal one.
It is upon this background that relentless women’s freedom, peace, justice and democracy activist, elected deputy, politician Leyla Güven has raised her voice, her life against the crime of silence and decided to turn her dear body into a defiant weapon to break through the darkness.
The demand raised by Leyla is the demand of millions of people. One would imagine that the responsibility of government warrants an effort to take into consideration, to evaluate and to find a solution to such a pure and simple demand for justice and peace raised at the cost of one’s own life. But no, the government has chosen to ignore and attempt to stifle the voice raised by Leyla and hence, the number of irreversible hunger strikers has now reached 320, most of them in prison.
We call on women to stand in defense of Life, to show that we hear Leyla’s voice in spite of all attempts to stifle it, to demand that the government take urgent action to end the crime of absolute isolation so that Leyla may live.
WE WILL NOT LET ONE MORE WOMAN DIE.
WE WILL NOT REMAIN IN DIFFERENT.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE LEYLA.
- TJA, 15 February 2019