Urgent! Raise your Voice for Leyla and all the hunger strikers

Raise your Voice for Leyla Initiative

Dear friends,

While we are writing this letter to you, deaths are at the door. We cannot foresee how many hours, minutes or seconds are left until someone dies.

On 8 November 2018, Leyla, while being detained, was not taken to court and participated in her hearing via SEGBIS audiovisual system. She declared to the court that the people are being isolated based on the Imralı prison isolation system imposed on Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan and that she went on indefinite and non-alternating hunger strike until the rights of Abdullah Öcalan to receive regular visits from his family members and lawyers and to correspondence through phone and mail that is recognised under domestic laws for all prisoners. Since that day, HDP MP Leyla Güven has been ignored by the state.

A few weeks after, a total of 342 women and men, in groups, have started indefinite hunger strikes in prisons. As of 1 March 2019, in 117 prisons, more than 5000 political detainees and prisoners are on indefinite hunger strikes. Thousands of people that are imprisoned solely on the basis of their political opinions continue hunger strike in prisons that do not even meet the minimum standards for a humane treatment and dignified life. Amongst those are sick prisoners that are imprisoned for decades.

It is know that hunger strike is a method used by those who don’t want to die but have no other means of struggle other than their bodies. In order not to turn a blind eye or to ignore the human rights defenders striving to ensure that not even one life is lost; women who stand by women’s liberation; democrats who show respect to different opinions, peace lovers growing tired of deaths:

• Write to the embassies, consulates, representations of the Republic of Turkey in your country as well as the bodies specified below asking them to fulfill the demands of Leyla Güven and her thousands of friends asking for implementation of existing laws in Turkey. 
  • Ministry of Justice of Turkey: info@adalet.gov.tr; fax +90 312 419 33 70
  • Presidency: fax +90 312 525 58 31
  • President of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey: fax +90 312 420 51
  • Committee on Human Rights Inquiry: insanhaklarikom@tbmm.gov.tr ; fax +90 312 420 24 92

• Follow the social media accounts listed below, share the posts and raise your voice for Leyla
  • twitter.com/RForLeyla
  • facebook.com/leylaya.sesver.1
  • instagram.com/raiseyourvoiceforleyla


Leyla Güven

Leyla Güven became active in political life with taking part in the executive body of the Konya branch of HADEP (People’s Democratic Party). In 2004, she was elected Mayor of Küçükdikili, Adana. In 2009, she was elected Mayor of Viranşehir, Urfa. She was appointed the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe in September 2009. She was arrested the same year when she was a member of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and she was imprisoned for five years. In June 2015 she was elected as MP for Riha (Urfa). In January she was arrested and subsequently detained on the basis of her speech during which she criticised the attack by the AKP/MHP government on Afrin. In the parliamentary elections of the 24th of June 2018, she was elected an MP for Colamêrg (Hakkari) by obtaining 71% of city’s votes. She went on indefinite, non-alternating hunger strike in 8 November 2018. After 79 days in hunger strike she was released pending trial. She continued to be on hunger strike outside the prison. Civilian health professionals documented that her health

Leyla Güven is an activist of Free Women’s Movement (TJA), co-chair of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) and People’s Democratic Party (HDP) MP.

Raise Your Voice for Leyla Initiative

The initiative was founded on the 115th day of the hunger strike of Leyla Güven , on 2nd of March 2019 and is composed of women rights defenders, activists, representatives of civil society organisations, Peace Mothers, Saturday Mothers, Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, lawyers, journalists and members of parliament from United Kingdom, Argentina, Turkey and Kurdistan who came together, subsequent to more than five thousand political prisoners went on hunger strike on 1st of March, saying that “we defend life; we show solidarity with Leyla”.