To the Press and Public,
First Mandela. Now Öcalan. Why is Amnesty afraid to campaign for those fighting for the liberation of their people?
As the Hunger Strikers protesting inside Amnesty International Headquarters in London we would like to inform the public of Amnesty’s human rights abuses by denying water, fresh air and use of the toilet during protest over their failure to stand up for basic human rights.
Amnesty international is deliberately ignoring the demands of millions of Kurds in their continued refusal to stand up for human rights and international law over the continued isolation of Abdullah Ocalan.
The rights organisation infamously refused to campaign for South African leader Nelson Mandela, leaving the anti-apartheid campaigner to rot in jail for 27 years.
As Kurdish activists and Socialists we warn that history is repeating itself as Amnesty refuses to campaign against the isolation of the Kurdish people’ leader- defined as torture under international law.
We are a dozen activists occupying the London offices of Amnesty international demanding they take action over the treatment of Mr Ocalan and the thousands of hunger strikers in Turkish prisons.
However instead of the rights organisation listening to our demands, Amnesty is abusing our human rights by denying us water, fresh air and even to use the toilet.
All of us inside the building are on hunger strike and as a result we are vulnerable to illness, however some of us were part of a group locked outside the offices in the rain and then roughed up by security guards as we tried to re-enter the building.
We have been here since Wednesday and our demands are simply for Amnesty to do its job as a human rights organisation and campaign for the upholding of international law and the end of the torture of Mr Ocalan.
During meetings, Amnesty officials have made some bizarre claims, including that Mr Ocalan is not being held in isolation and that they are not aware of any hunger strikes in Turkish prisons.
In doing so they are echoing the Turkish state and their continued silence makes them complicit in the crimes committed by the Erdogan regime.
Amnesty has an office in Turkey. It is simply inconceivable that they are not aware of the ongoing plight of Mr Ocalan and the thousands on hunger strike in Turkish prisons.
This leads us to conclude that the decision to refuse to campaign for basic human rights is a political one.
Amnesty claim they need to review the documents that have been handed to them, as if this is the first time they have been informed of the hunger strikes. However this is a lie. We know – and they admitted – that a Kurdish activist visited them in December to highlight the case of Imam Sis, who has been on hunger strike in Wales since 17 December 2018.
The hunger strike was initiated by People’s Democratic Party (HDP) MP Lelya Guven on November 8, 2018 – nearly 5 months ago. And Mr Ocalan has been held in aggravated isolation since 2016.
A spokesperson for the “Amnesty is refusing us the basic human need of fresh air, use of toilets and forcing hunger strikers to not drink water by doing this.
“If Amnesty’s claims to support human rights are to be believed, then they need to listen to our demands and take urgent action without delay.
“It begs the question: Are Amnesty human rights defenders, or are they human rights abusers?”
Amnesty International call on the Turkish Government to respect the human rights of their citizens, especially prisoners, over 7000 of whom are now on hunger strike.
That Amnesty International call for an end to the isolation and solitary confinement of political prisoners including Abdullah Öcalan, which amounts to torture and a human rights violation under international law.
That Amnesty International make an urgent global appeal for action against the Turkish government regarding these matters.
Until these demands are met, these activists will continue their occupation and hunger strike.
Hunger Strikers Inside Amnesty International UK Headquarters
KURDISH PEOPLES ASSEMBLY
Kurdish Womens Assembly
Socialist Womens Union