Mistreated in prison, Kurdish politician Ayşe Gökkan files criminal complaint
Ayşe Gökkan, a Kurdish politician sentenced to more than twenty years in prison in Turkey, has been mistreated in Sincan prison in Ankara and has filed criminal charges against those responsible.
Ayşe Gökkan, a Kurdish politician sentenced to more than twenty years in prison in Turkey, has been mistreated after being transferred from the women's prison in Amed (tr. Diyarbakir) to the Sincan prison in Ankara and has filed a criminal complaint against those responsible. The former mayor and spokesperson of the Free Women's Movement (TJA) has been in prison since the beginning of 2021, and in April her sentence of 22 years and six months imprisonment for membership of a terrorist organisation was upheld on appeal.
In the complaint of torture and ill-treatment, Ayşe Gökkan said that on 24 April she was handcuffed for hours and had difficulty breathing while being transported to the prison hospital in the Sincan prison complex. She was not even allowed to go to the toilet and the prison staff used this as a method of torture. "This torture lasted for three and a half hours. The handcuffs caused severe pain in my wrists and deep wounds," Ayşe Gökkan wrote. After the ordeal, she was taken back to the women's ward without medical treatment. Because she insisted, she was finally given a report for the marks of torture.
Ayşe Gökkan was born in the Suruç district of Urfa in 1965 and studied journalism. She has been arrested more than 80 times, and the preliminary proceedings against her were usually based on so-called terror charges. In 2009, Gökkan was elected mayor of Mardin’s Nusaybin district with 83 percent of the vote. Most of the investigations against her occurred during her term of office. Gökkan was elected spokesperson of the Free Women’s Movement (TJA) in February 2020. In December of that year, she was sentenced to eighteen months in prison in Mardin. In the trial she was accused of being in a restricted military area and causing damage to property. The charge stems from an act of civil obedience in October 2013. At the time, Gökkan was mayor of Nusaybin and protested against the construction of a wall with a hunger strike on the border with Syria.