24 December 2020

The International Women’s Alliance  (IWA)  a global alliance of grassroots-based women’s organizations, institutions, alliances, networks and individuals and condemns in the strongest possible terms the arrest and sentencing  of Leyla Güven, a member of  parliament  in Hakkari, Turkey.

 Last December 21,2020, a Turkish court sentenced Ms  Güven to 14 years and three months for her alleged membership with the  Kurdish Workers Party (PKK)  and eight years  for  disseminating “terrorist propaganda”   This totals to 22 years and three months.

She was sentenced in absentia and later  arrested in an apartment in Amed, Turkey.   According to a tweet from her daughter, she is now in a women’s prison in Elaziğ.

 Leyla Güven is the co-chairperson of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), a Kurdish group which advocates for a confederation in Turkey.  Because of her political activities, she has been arrested several times.  

In November 2018, while in prison, she initiated a 200 day hunger strike to call for the lifting of solidarity confinement of the Kurdish People’s Leader,  Abdullah Öcalan.  She was released because of her deteriorating health due to the hunger strike.

 Upon her arrest yesterday,  Güven  declared, “I am not going anywhere. I will continue to do politics in this country, in prison or outside.”

The Internaitonal Women’s Alliance (IWA)  calls on  everyone to demand the immediate release of Leyla  Güven and all women political prisoners in Turkish prisons.