Activist trans woman Demhat Aksoy finishes her hunger strike

Trans refugee Demhat Aksoy had announced her hunger strike with a social media message on April 30. Aksoy put an end to her strike today [May 8].

Source: “Activist trans woman Demhat Aksoy finishes her hunger strike” (“Demhat Aksoy Açlık Grevini Sonlandırdı”), Pembe Hayat, May 8, 2018,

Aksoy had announced her hunger strike on April 30 against the length of the asylum waiting period, low standards of living and maltreatment she was exposed to. Aksoy had explained her reasons for the hunger strike to Pembe Hayat [Pink Life]:

“This has been discussed many times but never put into practice. The suggested solutions were not humane, just like the policies they [authorities] practise. When I was left hanging and unanswered, this was the final straw and I announced my hunger strike. ”

“ Your needs can be diverse as a trans individual. Make-up material is very important for us. Yet we can’t afford it with the money we receive.”

“We have general demands in my declaration. Because we are all humans no matter how we identify, and we have needs. These needs include those specific to my gender identity. But I do not demand all this only for myself. It is a demand to expose the hypocrisy of Europe’s refugee policy and to live under more humane conditions.”

Meetings are underway, demands will be met

Aksoy had meetings with the Swedish Migration Office and Sweden’s LGBTI+ organizations while her action continued. Aksoy stated that her personal needs specific to her gender identity, such as laser epilation and make-up material will be provided. Regarding the other demands, she reported that they have come to an agreement; to have periodical meetings with the agenda of improving the conditions for refugees, after a meeting with the Migration Office on Friday.

As she came to an agreement with authorities, Aksoy announced the end of her strike.

“People do not migrate for no reason!”

We spoke to former Pembe Hayat [Pink Life] employee Demhat Aksoy upon her decision to end her hunger strike. She thanked everyone who supported her, and invited everyone to continue struggling for refugee rights:

“Once more I have come to understand that struggle is our fate. Wherever we may be, whichever status or identity, we struggle, and I am proud of this struggle. I call on to LGBTI+, women and young human rights activists : Let’s fight more! We may all have to migrate one day, because no one migrates for no reason!”

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