Death Fasting Grup Yorum Member Helin Bölek Loses Her Life

Grup Yorum music band member Helin Bölek has lost her life on the 288th day of her death fast.

The social media account of Grup Yorum music band has announced that Helin Bölek has lost her life on the 288th day of her death fast.

“On a death fast for 288 days, Grup Yorum member Helin Bölek has fallen martyr… We are calling on everyone to come to the resistance house to lay claim to our martyr,” the message on Twitter has read.

Going on a hunger strike demanding the release of arrested Grup Yorum members, the lifting of warrants against them as well as an end to bans on their concerts and raids to İdil Cultural Center, Grup Yorum member Helin Bölek and İbrahim Gökçek turned their hunger strike to a death fast.

Helin Bölek’s mother Aygül Bilgi previously said:

“She cannot sleep at night, because her nerve endings have got inflamed. There is no sleep for her because she suffers great pains. I want my daughter to sing folk songs again. I do not want my child to die. Don’t you want to see these bright people on the stage? So, please, everyone who hears my words: Please do something, but quickly.”

Statement by rights organizations
Human Rights Association (İHD) and Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) have released a joint statement about the passing of Helin Bölek.

“We are sorry for the passing of Helin Bölen, we could not be enough as human rights organizations. We could not prevent this impending loss,” the İHD and TİHV have said in their joint statement.

Referring to the new legislation on criminal execution published on the official gazette on March 29, they have noted that the regulation in question “signals an attempt to legitimize forced intervention” and the government is “politically accountable for this loss with its securitizing viewpoint.”

They have also “called on the government to quickly take action to prevent any more losses and solve the problem by meeting the demands.”

“We would like to once again remind that what needs to be done to prevent a single more violation of right to life is to abandon this securitizing mindset as soon as possible and to prioritize life and respect for human rights,” the organizations have concluded their statement.

What happened?

The İdil Cultural Center in Okmeydanı, İstanbul has been raided by the police for over 10 times over the last two years.

During the raids, instruments of Grup Yorum members were either broken or gone missing, their music books were also damaged.

According to the statement made by the group, a total of 30 people were arrested in these raids. Seven members of the band are still arrested.

The death fasting Grup Yorum members have the following demands:

* End the police raids against İdil Cultural Center, which is constantly raided, attempted to be terrorized and where the group is conducting its activities

* Remove the Grup Yorum members from the wanted lists of the Ministry

* Remove the ban on the concerts of Grup Yorum, all concerts of which have been banned for almost three years.

* Drop the lawsuits filed against Grup Yorum members

* Release all arrested Grup Yorum members

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