Families of prisoners: Silence will cause a disaster!

Families of prisoners paid a visit to the Labour Party (EMEP) in Ankara and called for solidarity, saying, “Silence will cause a disaster!”

Families of prisoners paid a visit to the Labour Party (EMEP) head office in Ankara to express their demand for the release of ill prisoners and those who have been denied release despite completing their sentences. The delegation including the families and HDP Vice Co-chair Ümit Dede was welcomed by Vice Chair of the EMEP, Selma Gürkan, and party administrators.

Speaking at the visit, İnci Güler, sister of prisoner Abdulselam Güler, expressed that her brother is seriously ill, adding, “Before our eyes, they handcuff and take him to the hospital. He has been imprisoned for 28 years. A son of my uncle, too, is in jail and seriously ill. Warders and soldiers transfer him in handcuffs while suffering serious pains. We cannot stand this pain. The situation of ill prisoners is highly critical. We do not want them to die in prison.”

Reşahat Ada, sister of prisoner Hamdulsena Ada, talked about the situation of her brother; “He suffers from a serious heart disease, and is denied access to medical treatment. Due to a 16-day quarantine, he began to suffer psychological problems. He had many surgery operations. We can see him from a 100-meter distance.” Ada underlined their demands for peace and justice and called for solidarity.

Hızal Yıldırım stated that they have not seen her brother Mehmet Yıldırım for 3 years, and that they came to Ankara to increase the support for their demands. “We demand seriously ill prisoners to be released immediately. Even prisoners who complete their sentences are not released,” Yıldırım added.

‘You can receive the news of my death’

Herdem Mervani stated that her father has been imprisoned for 30 years and he is currently in a critical condition. She said that during a phone call, her father said, “you might receive the news of my death this week”.

“We have repeatedly called the prison management. They made contradictory statements. My father reported that he suffered temporary memory loss due to medicines given by the prison management. He is seriously ill, and the pandemic turned the jail into hell. Prisoners are held in quarantine rooms for days after their return from hospital. These people are already ill, and the quarantine causes psychological problems. In the prison where my father is held, one of my father’s friends has passed away. This is horrible for us. We demand ill prisoners to be released immediately. My father has been imprisoned for 30 years but I know he will be denied release even if he completes his sentence. This is completely inhumane. We demand a solution. It is not enough to keep this matter on the agenda. Everyone should do their best. Let us find a solution urgently," Mervani said.

‘This pain concerns the whole country’

Hakkı Botan, father of ill prisoner Civan Botan, said, “We feel that the silence of public opinion will cause a disaster. We call upon all political parties, especially the ruling party, to be sensitive. It is obvious that the political power will not create a solution. This pain concerns the whole country, not only a single region. We want to raise our demands to put more pressure on political power.”

EMEP: There is a regime of hostility in the country

Vice Chair of the EMEP Selma Gürkan expressed that they follow the reports released by the Human Rights Association (IHD) and Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) on rights violations in jails. Condemning the government implementing a regime of hostility, Gürkan said, “We know that most of the judicial processes are carried out in unlawful ways. Inhumane treatments in jails, like unlawful judicial verdicts, are the extensions of political attacks.”

Recalling the racist incidents that occurred during the funeral of Aysel Tuğluk’s mother, she continued, “We know that Aysel Tuğluk has faced unlawful and inhumane treatments. Our struggle for democracy across Turkey is also a struggle for justice. All political prisoners, especially ill prisoners, should be released immediately. We do not consider that they are guilty. Your demands are our demands. We do not have a seat in the parliament but our struggle is not limited to the parliament which we treat as a part of struggle for democracy. The EMEP is following the right violations and is standing with your struggle.”