Friday, 17 February 2017

Torture in Turkish prisons

Letter to Ambassador in Dublin:

To: Ambassador Levent Murat BURHAN

Embassy of Turkey
8 Raglan Road , Dublin 4

Dear Ambassador

Just read a report about the torture of prisoners in Turkey and it has shocked me.

According to the report, on 23 January, the prison’s vice-director raided a 5-person dormitory together with a group of 20 wardens and tortured prisoners Sahin Encu, Kemal Kahraman, Hakan Bilekci, Ahmet Celik and Ozhan Ceyhun, who were then exiled to separate prisons.

Prison wardens were told over the tannoy to remain in their positions in the evening. That night the vice-director and around 20 wardens raided the dormitory. Referring to an infamous torturer he told them ‘I am going to be your Esat Oktay. You must defer to me. I am the God here,'”

The prisoners were initially beaten in front of cameras. The 5 prisoners were taken to an area underneath the stairwell and beaten severely.
It was  also reported that the prisoners had been thrown in isolation cells following the torture, with some suffering concussion. They were taken to the local hospital but doctors refused to give them medical reports confirming the torture.

Turkey’s Human Rights Association had previously released a report in October detailing hundreds of cases of torture and human rights violations between 15 July and 15 October.

The comparison made by the vice-director with Esat Oktay Yildiran is sinister.

Esat Oktay Yildiran was the infamous torturer in the 1980s decade whose torture of Kurdish and leftist prisoners led to the death of more than 30 such prisoners between 1981-84.

I would ask you as a human being to ensure that no more torture takes place in Turkey and that Sahin Encu, Kemal Kahraman, Hakan Bilekci, Ahmet Celik and Ozhan Ceyhun are given proper hospital treatment and are never again molested by prison officers or others; and that all prisoners are treated humanely while in custody, given fair trials promptly and released when they have been tried  by a fair and impartial tribunal and are found not guilty of crimesl.

Sincerely yours
Justin Morahan
Pacifist, Human Rights Activist

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