Protests in Switzerland, France after Turkish Raids on Prisons

Published December 20th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Protests took place in Switzerland and France on Tuesday against security operations held inside Turkish prisons early in the day to end hunger-strikes by inmates. 

In Bern, demonstrators staged a brief and peaceful occupation inside the Swiss federal parliament building, while in Paris several dozen demonstrators occupied a Turkish bank in central Paris. 

Four inmates and two troops died in the raids in Turkey, aimed at ending a two-month hunger strike by mostly leftist inmates who were protesting a plan to close large dormitories inside the jails and transfer prisoners to smaller cells. Many detainees fear torture and abuse inside smaller cells. 

The Bern protest involved around a dozen demonstrators who locked themselves in the antechamber of the senate for about two hours, brandishing placards and shouting anti-Turkey slogans through the windows. 

The protest ended peacefully after the demonstrators had spoken to a Swiss official. Some 40 to 50 people meanwhile demonstrated outside. 

The protestors, who got into the Swiss parliament building by joining a guided tour, said they represented a resistance committee against "death cells". 

In Paris, dozens of demonstrators massed in the lobby of Isbank chanting "enough of massacres in Turkey", "Turkish state, murderer", while several dozen others congregated in the street outside -- BERN (AFP) 



© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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