The KNK has sent an open letter to Prime Minister Erdogan and Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ calling for the release of hundreds of critically ill prisoners who are languishing in Turkish jails without proper medical attention. As the letter explains, despite recent changes to the law that would allow for seriously ill prisoners to be released, any prisoner charged under the anti-terror law who is suffering health problems has no chance of release under the current rules.
We know of at least 544 prisoners in Turkey are seriously ill who deserve to be released. We also know that 2300 people have died in Turkish prisons in the last 13 years.
The appeal has been signed by over 12o prominent public figures from across the world, including Selahattin Demirtaş, Co-chair of Peace and Democracy Party (BDP); writer and former political prisoner Ragip Zarakolu; Professor Noam Chomsky; several Members of the British, Irish and European Parliaments; and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, to name a few. The appeal was also published in Turkish daily Radikal.
Margaret Owen OBE and Professor Mary Davis, two patrons of the Peace in Kurdistan campaign, have written an open letter to the Justice Minister of France, Christiane Taubira, demanding justice for Sakine Cansiz, Fidan Dogan and Leyla Soylemez who were brutally assassinated on 9 January 2013. The assassinations, which took place days after peace talks with the Turkish government and Abdullah Ocalan were announced, was not only an attack on these three well-loved and well-known activists, but on the Kurdish women’s movement and the Kurdish liberation struggle as a whole.
The letter has been signed by nearly 120 women from across the UK, and the list includes members of parliament, academics, campaigners, trade unionists and many more. These women have chosen to stand by their Kurdish sisters who worked tirelessly for peace and justice for Kurdistan. So that their message is heard clearly, we have also sent copies to of the letter to MP’s Theresa May, Yvette Cooper, Baroness Warsi, Harriet Harman and Emily Thornberry. The letter has also been published in today’s print edition of the Morning Star.