Calls for action as trans prisoner’s hunger strike reaches 31st day

Representatives from Turkey’s Human Rights Association (İHD) have held a press conference in Istanbul to demand action after a jailed trans woman’s hunger strike in response to being prevented from having gender reassignment surgery reached its 31st day.

The woman, Buse, is held in a male prison in the European province of Tekirdağ, and has been prevented from receiving the surgery by the Ministry of Justice despite receiving favourable court and doctor’s reports on the issue, Turkish secularist news site Bianet reported on Thursday.

“We hold the Ministry of Justice responsible for all the possible lasting or temporary psychological or physical harm that comes to Buse, our friend on hunger strike, as a result of its decisions to obstruct her from her right to health, in direct contradiction of court decisions,” said the İHD’s statement.

The press conference was attended by representatives from a women’s association and an association for LGBTI+ prisoners.