Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Torturers Will be Called to Account

Tuesday, September 28 2010

Erol ÖNDEROĞLU- The Facts Research and Justice Commission decided to take the torturers of the Diyarbakır prison from the time around the 1980 military coup to court. Kurdish politician Miroğlu who was detained in the prison for several years, is both a victim and a witness.The Diyarbakır Prison Commission on Facts Research and Justice, established by the 78'ers initiative, decided in a symposium to file criminal complaints against the people on duty who maltreated the prisoners during the martial law after the military coup on 12 September 1980.
The Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality organized a two-day symposium themed "Turkey faces the Truth of Diyarbakır Prison". In a declaration it was announced that the vicitims and witnessess of 12 September file a criminal complaint at the Diyarbakır Public Prosecution. Diyabakır is a Kurdish-majority city in the south-east of Turkey.

Celalettin Can, spokesman of the 78'ers Initiative, read out the declaration of the symposium. According to Can, interviews made with 461 victims within three years were recorded in 800 hours of voice records and 7,500 pages of decrypted information were evaluated. He said that an application would be made to the Diyarbakır Public Prosecutor for the prosecution of the responsible people.

According to an estimation made by Forensic Medicine Expert Prof. Şebnem Korur Fincancı and Psychotherapist Dr Murat Paker, around 5,000 people were tortured in the Diyarbakır Prison.
Miroğlu: "I am a witness and a victim"

One of the witnesses of the commission is the Kurdish politician and writer Orhan Miroğlu, who was detained in the Diyarbakır prison for six years. In an article entitled "What did you do to this people - 1" published in Taraf newspaper on Monday (27 September), he wrote: "I was talking about what happened in Diyarbakır Prison to an elderly fellow inmate. He did not believe it was real. He said, 'No, we are dead and this is hell and the guards are demons'".
Some of the testimonies written down by Miroğlu

Serdil Büyükkaya (daughter of Necmettin Büyükkaya who died as the result of torture in the Diyarbakır prison in 1984): On a visiting day they took us inside and told us to turn our heads towards the wall. [...] People with handcuffs and tied feet were made to get off a prison vehicle... They were like white slaves... I hugged my father during one visit. He whispered into my ear: 'Tell your mother, the conditions here are very bad'. My father was 41 years old. He died as a result of torture carried out by Captain Abdullah Kahraman and a military officer called Ali Osman.

Serap Mutlu Doğan (sister of Mazlum Doğan who hung herself in her cell on 21 March 1982): Mazlum had no fingers left. We do not know whether the rats ate them or whether they were burned with electricity.

Mehdiye Özhan Özbay (describing the situation in the women's ward): When it came to collective beating, 2.5-year old Reco would hug the legs of the guards to hinder them from beating his mother... [...]

Salih Sezgin: I was 17 years old when I was taken to prison. I did not know Turkish very well. I would not have believed that any state would be able to treat its citizens that badly - until I came to the Diyarbakır Prison... The cells were full of excrements; 30-40 people stayed in once cell. In winter, we were taken outside naked and they forced us to get on top of each other. There was one single reason for all the torture: We were Kurds. (BT/EÖ/VK)

This news is partly based on the www.diyarbakirzindani.com website and the article written by Orhan Miroğlu in the Taraf issue dd. 27.09.2010.