Jailed pro-Kurdish party deputy under investigation over hunger strike

An imprisoned deputy for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is under investigation by the directorate of a prison Turkey’s southeast, where she has been on a hunger strike since Nov. 7, independent news site Diken reported.

Leyla Güven, who has been held in Diyarbakır prison since January on terror-related charges, announced a few days ago that she began an indefinite hunger strike ‘’to protest the isolation practices against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan and political prisoners.’’ 

Öcalan, the leader of the PKK, an armed group that has fought for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey for decades, has been jailed in Turkey's Imrali island prison since 1999.

The prison’s directorate has asked Güven to provide a verbal or written defense over the next three days, citing  Article 47 of the Turkish Penal Code,  Diken said.

Article 47 states that aggravated life imprisonment will last for a whole life time and prisoners sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment are held in rooms for one person and are allowed one hour of open air or sports per day.

Güven is accused of co-chairing the Democratic Society Congress, a part of the Kurdish political movement that Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government calls a terrorist organisation.

Turkey has charged many of the HDP’s senior politicians with membership of a terrorist organisation based on alleged links to the PKK.