Egyptian youth begin hunger strike in Turkey

20 Egyptians living in Turkey launched a two-day hunger strike in Istanbul in protest at mass death sentences in Egypt

Egyptian youth begin hunger strike in Turkey

World Bulletin/News Desk

A group of 20 young Egyptians launched a two-day hunger strike in Istanbul on Tuesday in a bid to raise awareness of the mass death sentences recently given in Egypt against hundreds of supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

An Egypt court handed down death sentences for 683 people on April 28, following a previous ruling by the same court in March sentencing 528 people to death. On Monday, the court also upheld the first sentence for 37 people and changed the sentences for 491 to life in prison.

A number of Turkish NGOs, including Humanitarian Relief Organization (IHH), are participating in the hunger strike. They held a press conference in Istanbul's Eminonu district, a famous and historical tourist location.

Egyptian activists will stay in a two-room tent behind symbolic wooden jail bars. A theatrical gallows were also placed in front of the tents, where a few Egyptian protesters stood still, hung from their necks. Photos of Egyptian protesters were showcased around the tents and one placard read "Democracy for the World, Hypocrisy for Egypt."

Around 23,000 people have been imprisoned in Egypt, including more than 1,200 children and over 700 women, since the deadly crackdown over pro-Morsi protesters began last year. 37 prisoners have died in Egyptian prisons, and some of the prisoners have been on hunger strike for over 100 days, according to the press release from IHH.

23-year-old Egyptian Amina Amr, who has been in Turkey for eight months as a student, said her father, uncle and cousins are two of those imprisoned in Egypt. 

"My uncle was hospitalized in the prison and we are not able to get him out, just because Sisi wants it that way," she said.

Turkey is one of the harshest critics of the military coup in Egypt while "world powers have remained silent", argued Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc in his statement following the death sentences.

At the end of the ceremony, peace doves were released by both attendees and hunger strikers, in a call to stop the mass prosecutions in Egypt.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Mayıs 2014, 14:51