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Trade unions warn Turkey over Kurdish leader's isolation

TRADE union leaders and the actress Maxine Peake have written to the Turkish government demanding an immediate end to the “inhumane” isolation of jailed Kurdish icon Abdullah Ocalan.

Their letter comes on the 20th anniversary of Mr Ocalan’s arrest and as hundreds of his Kurdish supporters are staging lengthy hunger strikes to highlight his plight.

Transport union TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes and Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke both signed the letter.

The missive warns that the hunger strikers “face certain death in the coming days and weeks” if Turkey does not improve its treatment of Mr Ocalan.

The Kurdish luminary was seized by Turkish authorities 20 years ago yesterday and is being kept captive on a prison island.

He has not seen a lawyer since 2011 and has endured a regime of “aggravated isolation” since 2015.

More than 300 supporters are currently on hunger strike in protest at Mr Ocalan’s isolation, including Kurdish MP Leyla Guven who has now not eaten for 100 days.

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