A POLITICAL activist from Newport is refusing to eat in a desperate bid to highlight alleged human rights abuses in the Middle East.

Imam Sis, who moved to Wales five years ago, went on a hunger strike almost two weeks ago with 77 other people to demand alleged human rights abuses against Abdullah Öcalan - leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, who has been in solitary confinement since 1999 - are investigated.

Mr Sis has based himself at the Kurdish Community Centre in Chepstow Road, and will refrain from eating until Mr Öcalan, who has claimed he has not been allowed any visitors or legal representation since 2016, is released.

“In Kurdish we say ‘resistance is life’ – we must do everything we can to raise awareness of this struggle,” he said.

“We want Abdullah Öcalan to be released. He has not done anything wrong, other than put his people first.

“The CPT (European Committee for the Prevention of Torture), ECHR (the European Court of Human Rights), or a member of his legal representation need to make contact with Öcalan.

“Small and unrecognised nations must stick together – so I am proud that Plaid Cymru MPs and AMs have signed a letter supporting the cause, along with many other academics, lawyers, trade unionists and activists.”

The 32-year-old revealed he has not left the community centre since starting the hunger strike and only has a few drinks daily.

“I have lost some weight,” said the Newport resident.

“People who come to see me say that I have lost weight and I feel that I have.

“I have been on hunger strike before to raise awareness for different causes. It is all about being able to think of the end goal - which will hopefully be a man’s freedom.”