Revolutionary journalist undergoing hunger strike in German prisons

On 16th of May 2022, Revolutionary Journalist Özgül Emre was arrested by German police in Mannheim. On the next day, the police raided the house of İhsan Cibelik, a member of the revolutionary music band Grup Yorum. He was forcibly detained and heavily assaulted. Both of them were taken to respective courts and in a matter of seconds, these courts decided on their case. Özgül Emre was taken to JVA Rohrbach and İhsan Cibelik was taken to JVA Köln-Ossendorf. On the 18th of May 2022, another anti-fascist, Serkan Küpeli, was detained in Hamburg.

The German state performed these raids, detentions and arrests based on Article 129-b of the German law. Article 129-b is specifically designed to suppress revolutionaries from Turkey and designate them as “terrorists”. Previously, in Stuttgart, 5 anti-fascists from Turkey were sentenced to multiple years of prison for organizing Grup Yorum concerts, distributing magazines, organizing picnics, and supporting the resistance.

The German state is attempting to enforce a prison uniform on Özgül Emre in JVA Rohrbach, knowing very well that four revolutionary prisoners in Turkey died during their hunger strike in 1984 in opposition of enforcing a prisons uniform. Their sacrifice has resulted in the retraction of the law and to this day, Turkish prisons can not enforce prison uniforms.

Özgül Emre comes from this uncompromising tradition to keep up the identity, integrity and dignity of revolutionary political prisoners. Starting from the day of her detention 39 days ago, she has been undergoing a hunger strike. Her demand is simple: to access to her own clothes.

Samidoun Network stands firmly on the side of Özgül Emre, who has been on hunger strike in JVA – Rohrbach for 39 days to fight for her basic needs and to protect her and all people’s dignity in the German repressive and imperial prison system.

Following is the statement published by the anti-imperialist struggle committee, explaining in detail the current situation of Özgül Emre:

Özgül Emre, a revolutionary and journalist from Turkey, has been detained in Germany since May 17, 2022, at the request of the German Federal Prosecutor’s Office and by order of the Federal Supreme Court (BGH).

Özgül Emre is arbitrarily and unlawfully forced by the Rohrbach prison administration to wear prison uniform clothing and is not given any clothing of her own.

Özgül Emre, who refuses to accept the arbitrary and unlawful imposition of a prison uniform on flimsy grounds, has been on hunger strike since May 16, 2022, i.e. for 39 days.

According to her family and her lawyer, Özgül Emre’s health has deteriorated to the point where her life is in danger. Özgül Emre has not received sugar and salt from Rohrbach Prison for a month, which she absolutely must use during the hunger strike.

Özgül Emre has been having serious problems with fluid intake in recent days, stating that she vomits the fluids she ingests and that she has severe pain in her groin area both when taking fluids and when vomiting.

Because Özgül Emre is currently unable to ingest fluids, she is also unable to ingest sugar and salt, so her physical resistance is rapidly decreasing. In other words, Özgül’s health has rapidly deteriorated due to her inability to consume fluids, and thus sugar and salt, and it has become a serious threat to her life.

We reiterate:

Özgül Emre’s demands are justified and legitimate. The imposition of institutional clothing, despite the presumption of innocence is unlawful and illegal and must be stopped immediately. Otherwise, the Rohrbach prison administration and the federal court are responsible for all negative consequences and endangering the life of Özgül Emre.

The justified and legitimate demands of Özgül Emre must be accepted!

Stop the enforcement of the prison clothing!