Journalist Herkî: The voice of freedom cannot be suppressed

Journalist and activist Pîran Herkî spoke about the conditions in the KDP prisons and said: “The voice of freedom cannot be suppressed in prison.”

The journalist and activist Pîran Herkî was a political prisoner of the KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party). He was one of the group known as "Behdînan prisoners" who were arrested by KDP security forces in January 2019 after a protest in Şîladizê against the deadly air strikes by the Turkish army. He is a member of the veterans' association Pêşmergeyên Dêrîn, whose members were already in 1992 during the Gulf War in South Kurdistan and are critical of the KDP. He was imprisoned for one year and two months.

The fear of the KDP is an obstacle to freedom

Herkî told ANF of the growing repression by the Turkish-dependent KDP regime in South Kurdistan. He said: "The KDP has increased the arrest of activists, journalists and political figures from 2020. Over the past three months, more than 23 activists and journalists have been arrested."

Herkî spoke about the torture of the arrested journalists and activists and continued: "The KDP is trying to suppress the voice of freedom in this way. Because the KDP is afraid that the voice of truth could reach the people. When the truth reaches the people, the KDP's lack of planning, lack of system and corruption will be exposed. The KDP does not allow a free life within its borders because it is afraid of its environment, but it should know well that the voice of freedom cannot be suppressed by prisons. The KDP has never tolerated the voice of freedom because it has always viewed the call for freedom as an exposure of its lack of planning and corruption."

150 prisoners in one cell

Herkî said about the treatment of prisoners that “if I had been told that there was such a prison in Kurdistan, I would never have believed it. There were 150 prisoners in a cell twelve meters long and five and a half meters wide, including university professors, journalists, engineers, thieves and drug dealers. This system was introduced with the aim of psychologically wearing us down and depriving us of hope."

The journalist said that the size of a room where he and two other prisoners were kept was 65 cm, and added: "We met our eating, drinking and sheltering needs in this room. This treatment cannot even be applied to an animal. Another problem in the prison was that the food wasn't good. In Hewlêr prison there were no books or opportunities to read news. The existing TVs only had entertainment channels."

They will not silence us

Herkî said: "We were brought to trial seven times, but our case remained open. Although many judges had called for a punishment, they could not come to a decision on our sentence. They couldn’t silence us."