News from Bianet/English

UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has sent an urgent letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça who have been on hunger strike for 99 days and were arrested on the 76th day of their protest they have staged to be reinstated to their positions.

According to a report by Gökçer Tahincioğlu from Cumhuriyet daily, the letter was sent on June 1 by the UN working group through the Ministry of Justice to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the description “very urgent”.

The letter covers questions concerning Gülmen, Özakça as well as Özakça’s wife Esra Özakça and his mother Sultan Özakça, who have gone on a hunger strike as well after Gülmen and Özakça were arrested, and are on the 24th day as of today (June 15).

The Ministry is expected to give a response to the UN with regards to the claims in the letter.

On 99th day of the hunger strike

On January 6, 2017, Nuriye Gülmen was discharged from her position through the Statutory Decree No. 679 issued under the State of Emergency.

On October 29, 2016, Semih Özakça was discharged from his position through the Statutory Decree No. 675 issued under the State of Emergency.

On March 9, 2017 Gülmen and Özakça went on an indefinite and non-alternate hunger strike in front of the Human Rights Statute on Yüksel Street in Turkey’s capital city of Ankara.

They were taken into custody and later released several times during their hunger strike.

Being charged with “being a member of a terrorist organization” , “opposing to the Law on Assembly and Demonstration” and “propagandizing for a terrorist organization”, they were arrested on May 23.

As of today (June 15) they are on the 99th day of their hunger strike. (TP/EKN/DG)