Turkish Prisoner Dies in Hunger Strike
Ali Camyar, a Turkish prisoner has become the forty-third person to die during a hunger strike, protesting against Turkey’s new reform policy - a maximum security prison system, according to BBC. Camyar was originally jailed in 1996 for a period of 18 years for being part of an outlawed group of revolutionary communists.
The Prisoners’ solidarity group, said that Camyar died in a hospital in Izmir on Wednesday after not eating for nearly a year. He was admitted to the hospital last month. The Turkish Association of Human Rights said that he died from tuberculosis after his immune system had been weakened from all the months of starvation.
The hunger strike began some 14 months ago by left-wing prisoners and supporters from outside the prison walls, in protest of the Turkish government’s reform policy of moving prisoners from large halls to small cells. The inmates claim that the small cells, set up for three people, as opposed to 100 in the larger ones, cause them to be isolated and vulnerable to guard abuse. The government, on its part, claims that the large cells, served as training camps for militants and a platform for riots.
Other than the forty-three deaths directly connected to the strike, during December 2000, 30 prisoners were killed when police raided jails in order to re-establish state control and end the strike. Two police officers died during the attack.
In November 2001, police also stormed houses, which held strikers, in the Istanbul district. Four prisoners burnt themselves in protest of the raids. (www.albawaba.com)