Two-day hunger strike held to support Kurdish prisoners

Kurdish protesters in Melbourne went on a 48-hour hunger strike on March 12 in support of Kurdish political prisoner and leader, Abdullah Ocalan. They said they also sought to increase awareness about the need to find a peaceful solution to the Turkish government’s oppression of Kurds.

The Melbourne Kurdish Association said: “On February 15, 2012, 400 Kurdish political prisoners went on an indefinite and non-alternate hunger strike in prisons across Turkey and Kurdistan. In recent times another 400 prisoners joined these indefinite hunger strikes, making a total number of 800.

“These protesters are clearly frustrated by the constant, and what seems to be never ending, injustices against the Kurdish people in Turkey. The protesters are demanding the freedom of Kurdish leader Ocalan, assurance students are able to be educated in their mother language [and] an end to military operations held against the Kurdish people.

“We, the Kurdish community living in Australia, declare our solidarity with the demands of the political prisoners who are currently on indefinite hunger strikes. We ask for the Australian government to put pressure on the Turkish state for a democratic and peaceful solution to the Kurdish question.”