(New York, NY) – PEN America today mourns the death of Turkish musician İbrahim Gökçek’s, who died just two days after suspending a hunger strike protesting his imprisonment and that of other detained artists. Julie Trebault, director of PEN America’s Artists at Risk Connection, said the following:

“We are devastated to hear the news of İbrahim Gökçek’s passing today, two days after he suspended his hunger strike. We vehemently condemn the Turkish government for its continuous attempts to silence Grup Yorum and the many dissident artists in Turkey. İbrahim and his bandmate Helin Bölek should never have needed to resort to a hunger strike. We mourn their deaths and continue to call on the Turkish authorities to cease their efforts to stifle the voices of artists, writers, and activists.”

PEN America leads the Artists at Risk Connection (ARC), a program dedicated to assisting imperiled artists and fortifying the field of organizations that support them. If you would like to learn more about Grup Yorum, please read ARC’s profile of the band. If you or someone you know is an artist at risk, contact ARC here.