[Sinn Fein]

11 August 2001

Sinn Fein calls on Lord Mayor of Dublin to act on Turkish Hunger Strike

Sinn Fein s Dublin City Councillor, Nicky Kehoe, has called on the Lord Mayor of Dublin to ``express his concern at the deaths of 30 hunger strikers in Turkish prisons and condemn the failure of the Turkish government to open dialogue with the prisoners.

Cllr. Kehoe was speaking following the successful visit of two Turkish human rights activists to Dublin. Lavant Kamat and Huseyin Karabey met with representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs and a delegation of Dublin councillors including the Lord Mayor Michael Mulcahy.

During their two-day trip to Dublin they also met with the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Coiste na n-Iarchimí, (The Republican ex-prisoners support organisation) Patricia McKenna MEP and were interviewed by RTE radio.

On Wednesday night a crowd of over 150 people attended a public meeting called by the 1981 Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee in the Irish Film Centre. Mr Karabey gave a graphic account of the situation in Turkey and a film was shown exposing the brutality of the Turkish prison system.

Cllr Kehoe said:

``The suffering and human cost of the prison struggle in Turkey is staggering. Prisoners and members of their families have lost their lives as part of the campaign to maintain the dormitory style prisons they feel safest in.

``Sinn Fein asks the Lord Mayor to take a stand for basic human rights in Turkey and condemn the actions of the Turkish government in refusing to talk to these political prisoners.

``Twenty years ago Republican hunger-strikers were overwhelmed with support right across the world as people everywhere recognised their suffering and stood in solidarity. Today it is our turn to take a stand for human rights in Turkey and in solidarity with the hunger strikers there.''

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