Kurdish political prisoner released after 30 years in jail

Kurdish political prisoner Cebrail Vural spent 30 years in jail during which he was subjected to heavy torture.

Kurdish political prisoner Cebrail Vural was released after 30 years in jail. The Kurdish prisoner was 20 years old when he was arrested in Mardin province and sentenced to life by the Turkish State Security Court (DGM) for "undermining the unity and integrity of the State". He suffered torture and ill-treatment during the 30 years he spent in captivity and contracted several serious illnesses.

Upon his release from prison, Cebrail Vural declared: "We dream that the Kurds are united in a free and equal life. These dreams are neither impossible nor unrealistic. In this regard, my fight will continue to the end."

Torture for 70 days

The Vural family, which suffered its share of the oppression of the 90s, lived in the village of Siyamed (Akça) in the Derik district of Mardin and in the hamlet of Bozbayır. The oppression by the state and village guards was so intense that Cebrail Vural's uncle's two children and two nephews were killed by the Turkish state. Their homes and villages were burned, and the family had to take refuge in the Viranşehir district of Urfa where state pressure continued.

In March 1994, police searched their home in Viranşehir and Cebrail Vural was taken into custody. During the state of emergency (OHAL), Cebrail remained in detention for 70 days. The family had no news of Cebrail, who was subjected to severe torture for 70 days and sentenced to life in prison. Under torture, he lost weight. At some stage he only weighted 55 kilos, far too little for a man who is 1.90 meters tall.