CHP files parliamentary motion after vegan prisoner goes on hunger strike

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu has filed a parliamentary question to Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül, demanding an investigation into claims that a vegan prisoner’s food demands were not being met in line with the law.

In the question, Tanrıkulu asked the “reason why a 60-year-old convict was not given vegan food, which is his legal right,” and demanded to know whether “an investigation would be launched regarding the [jail] officials who are acting against the relevant regulations in [Justice] Ministry law.”

Osman Evcan, currently jailed in Istanbul’s Silivri Prison, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1992.

Following a series of hunger strikes he carried out over a number of years, Evcan in 2012 finally won food rights for all convicted and imprisoned people who are vegans and vegetarians, leading to a change in the “Food Law Regulation” for the imprisoned.

However, Evcan has said that as a result of his protest against the Muslim Feast of Sacrifice last year, jail officials started to bring him food containing meat or rotten food, while also “harassing him verbally,” CHP deputy Tanrıkulu said in his letter.

Although the issue was taken to the Justice Ministry by some “sensitive civilians,” due to the “lack of evidence” no investigation had been yet opened into the jail personnel, the CHP deputy also stated. As a result, Evcan kicked off an “indefinite” hunger strike from March 28.

Tanrıkulu also asked in his parliamentary question how many vegan and vegetarian convicts are currently jailed in Turkey.

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