Jailed Pro-Kurdish Party Leader Begins Hunger Strike

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The jailed leader of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish party says he is embarking on a hunger strike to protest prison conditions.

Selahattin Demirtas said Friday in a statement released by his People’s Democratic Party, or HDP, that he would refuse food to denounce what he described as “unlawful, inhuman and arbitrary practices” in Turkish prisons.

Demirtas said he also wanted to draw attention to hunger strikes by other prisoners in Turkey. The HDP says more than 100 Kurdish or other prisoners are on hunger strikes in Turkish prisons, some for the past 40 days.

It was not clear how long Demirtas’ hunger strike would last.

Hundreds of Kurdish prisoners held a hunger strike in 2012 which they ended after a call by jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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