Jeremy Corbyn calls for lawyers to be allowed to visit Abdullah Öcalan

Jeremy Corbyn meets Kurdish activists on March 30. Photo: freeocalan.org

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn met with Kurdish solidarity activists on March 30, according to the campaign website freedomforocalan.org.

The activists have been working with Imam Sis, a Kurdish activist living in Wales who has been on hunger strike since December 17, protesting the isolation of imprisoned Kurdish leader, Abdullah Öcalan.

Sis has been surviving on vitamin tablets, salty water, and a glass of lemonade a day and his physical health has deteriorated.

Three Kurdish activists in London have also been on hunger strike in protest since March 14.

According to the report, Corbyn expressed sympathy with the hunger strikers and agreed to raise the issue of Öcalan’s isolation with the British Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and Labour’s Shadow Cabinet.

Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott was also present at the meeting and agreed with Corbyn that it would be possible for senior Labour figures to visit the three hunger strikers in London.

After the meeting, Corbyn spoke at a Labour rally and highlighted the importance of Öcalan’s involvement in any peaceful settlement in the Middle East, highlighting the calls for lawyers to be allowed to visit him in prison.

The hunger strikes were initiated by Leyla Güven, a member of Turkey’s parliament for the left-wing, Kurdish-led People’s Democratic Party (HDP). Güven began her hunger strike in prison on November 7 last year, after being arrested by the Turkish state for speaking out against Turkish attacks on Afrin, a Kurdish canton in Northern Syria.

The hunger strikers are demanding that Turkey return Öcalan’s access to his lawyers and family, and for the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture to investigate the conditions of his imprisonment on Imrali Island.

[For more information, visit freedomforocalan.org.]