In Istanbul yesterday Turkish police raided the homes of activists engaging in fasts to the death to protest thecountry’s prison conditions. At least four people died and 14 were wounded in the attacks.
Police smashed through barricades erected by hunger strike supporters using armored personnel carriers and heavyconstruction equipment, firing bullets and tear gas at the homes where weakened fasters were staying. Police saythe fasters, many of whom have been fasting for 200 days or more and can’t sit up by themselves or even drink waterwithout assistance, set themselves on fire.
Turkish human rights activists say that upwards of seventy people have fasted to death to protest the transfer ofTurkish prisoners to isolation cells, which human rights groups around the world have condemned. The police attackwas aimed at halting the nonviolent protest.
- Gerkin Gur, European representative for the Turkish Hunger strikers.