Mother who received son's remains by post in prison for eight months

The mother of martyr Agit Ipek, Halise Aksoy, has been in prison for eight months. Her second hearing will take place on tomorrow, 12 January. Her lawyer called on the public to closely monitor the hearing.

Halise Aksoy represents the struggle and suffering of Kurdish women and especially mothers. She became known when she received the remains of her son, guerrilla Agit Ipek, in a package sent to her by post. She did not remain silent about this outrageous action and went public. She was subsequently subjected to reprisals and has been in custody since 25 April 2023, despite major health problems.

Her trial, in which she is to be sentenced to a long prison term for “membership in a terrorist organization” and “harboring and aiding terrorists” based on the testimony of a key witness, will continue on Friday before the 10th criminal chamber of the Diyarbakır Assize Court. The key witness has already served as a tool for indictments against around 800 people targeted by the regime.

“Conflicting statements from key witness”

Halise Aksoy's lawyer Zeynep Karayılan commented on the proceedings and said: “Based on the statements of the key witness, Halise Aksoy was charged with harboring and supporting the members of an illegal organization. However, there were serious contradictions between the statements of the key witness in the indictment and via the video link in the trial. The court not only ignored these contradictions, but also refused to release my client on the grounds that there was another secret witness beyond the key witness and that he had to be heard. Of course, this decision to keep her in jail has no legal basis.”

“Enemy law is applied”

The lawyer criticized her client's continued detention and said: “Pre-trial detention is intended as a last resort. Since the beginning of the trial, however, Halise Aksoy has been treated as an enemy. The Code of Criminal Procedure was de facto scrapped. There are three witness statements on the record, and all three are irrelevant. Neither statement supports the other. In addition, the indictment also included the situation of her son, whose bones were sent by post. This alone shows that the proceedings against Halise Aksoy are improper. Halise Aksoy has been in detention for nine months and is chronically ill with diabetes and high blood pressure. She also suffers from numerous other illnesses. She was hospitalized several times during her detention. She underwent multiple eye surgeries before her arrest and also has a stomach disorder. In our last conversation she said that her symptoms had increased.”

Lawyer Karayılan called on people to follow the hearing closely. She appealed: “We call on all women’s organizations and democratic institutions to show solidarity with Halise Aksoy.”