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Hunger-striking members of Turkish folk-rock band forcibly hospitalized

Hunger-striking members of a Turkish folk-rock music band known for its music that incorporates political themes were put into intensive care unit by police against their will, reportedly to be force-fed, the group’s official Twitter account announced on Thursday.

Peoples’ Law Bureau, a law firm that represents the band members, protested the action to hospitalize the group members Helin Bolek and Ibrahim Gokcek, who have been on an indefinite hunger strike for nine months.

The firm asserted that the authorities’ intervention lacked valid grounds.

“In the case of possible negative consequences of interventions carried out without the consent of our clients, doctors who condone and conduct these interventions, especially the Minister of Health and the administrators of Umraniye Training and Research Hospital, will bear full responsibility,” a post from the law firm’s Twitter account read. 

“The fifth article of the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, of which Turkey is also a signatory and many other conventions ban the medical attention without the consent of the respective individuals,” the firm stated.

The band members’ protest aims at getting the authorities to release the jailed group members from prison, and lift a ban on the Grup Yorum concerts, which has been ongoing for almost four years.

Founded in 1985, Grup Yorum is known for its left-leaning stance and songs dedicated to class politics.

Since a state-of-emergency declared by the AKP government in the aftermath of 2016’s failed coup bid, a total of 11 members of the music group have been arrested on terror charges.

Many of them had been released since then, however, Sultan Gokcek, a band member and the spouse of Ibrahim Gokcek, and Bergun Varan are still in prison.

Turkish band members to stage hunger strike in protest to crackdown of ruling AKP

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