Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hunger Strike at Silivri and Beatings (Türkçeşi en aşağıda)


That’s the prevailing mood for the past year. Sometimes the anxiety is aimless and sometimes it is a divination.

On Monday, my sister-in-law received a call from her father. Monday are the days prisoners at Silivri get a phone call. She said his voice sounded strange—subdued, morose. We found out that a hunger strike was planned among the prisoners in the KCK case. We had no idea if my father-in-law would be among the strikers. His name was missing from the official lists, but it was clear from his voice that something was wrong. The trial is resuming next week. The visitation this week was canceled—the prisoners themselves were boycotting visits as a means of protest. We would have no news for a while.

Tuesday, my wife, determined to see her father and find out if he was okay, arranged a car and a lawyer to go with her to Silivri—while family could not get in, most likely a lawyer would be let through. The only trouble was finding a driver—we called friends, friends of friends, and friends of those, but there was no one who knew how to drive (imagine having that problem in the States!) She was talking about driving out there on her own—a thought which terrified me, given her lack of experience. It looked like we might have to give up the trip, but something was nagging at her and she had to get out there somehow. I was about to call in to work to make the drive myself when a friend came through at the last minute.

The rest I heard from my wife herself.

The prison was eerily empty—the crowds of visitors for the KCK inmates missing, home because of the protest. The lawyer was let in and met with my father-in-law, Kemal Seven, who was extremely pleased to see him. Something had happened, and in their isolation, he had feared no one would ever find out.

My wife’s instincts had been correct.

Tuesday, September 25th, 10 of the 99 detainees remaining from this particular round-up began a hunger strike. They wrote a petition to the prison announcing the strike so that later the officials could not claim ignorance should something happen later on. The remaining 89 prisoners wrote a petition of their own declaring their support. Sometime the same day, roughly between  40 to 50 guards and riot police in full gear (this means shields, gas masks, billy clubs and pepper gas) gathered at the door of the prisoners wards. Among them were the assistant warden and the chief of the prison guards. They entered the cells to take away the hunger strikers. Apparently, they were taking them to one-person cells isolated from the others. Their comrades did not want to give them up—they feared that in a few days the strikers would no longer be able to take care of themselves, and expected little help or understanding from the prison officials. Thus, they tried to prevent the guards from taking them awa. The guards attacked. Everyone was beaten (Remember, please, that resistance or no, many of these men are around 60 years old with a host of ailments ranging from heart disease to diabetes). The ten hunger strikers and 2 other prisoners were taken away. None of their belongings were removed from the cells and they’ve had no word of where they’ve been taken. The others worry because, on hunger strike, of course, they need to drink water and sugar water quite regularly and there has been no sign of anyone making provisions for that.

The remaining 89 have refused food since Tuesday in solidarity. I’m posting this on a Saturday, so this might have changed. The trial will resume Monday. Most likely with the reading of the 2,500 page indictment-I think after 10 days in July we left off on page three hundred and something.

Türçesi (Özet)

Silivri L Tipi Cezaevinde, KCK davasından tutuklu bulunan 99 tutukludan 10 kişi süresiz dönüşümsüz açlık görevine başladılar.  Bir dilekçe yazıp, hapishaneye bildirmişler.  Kalan 89 kişiden bu arkadaşları destek verdiği diye bir dilekçe yazmışlar.  Sonra robokop şeklinde 20-25 hapishanenin gardiyanı ikinci müdür ve başgardiyan koğuş kapılarını açmışlar bu on kişi alıp bir tek kişilik hücre götürmek istemişler.  (Bu arada koğuşlar 18 kişilik. 99 kişi kalıyor, bu koğuşlarda, her koğuşa gardiyanlar dağıtılmış).   Dün Salı günü yaklaşık 40-50 kişi yarısı gardiyan yarısı robokop şeklinde, koğuşlara girmişler. Koğuşlardakiler tabii ki arkadaşlarını bırakmak istemdiler (Çünkü bu 10 kişi 10 gün sonra kendi ihtiyaçlarına bakamayacaklardı). Direnmişler. Gardiyanlar onlara darp etmişler.  10 grevlileri götürmüşler bir de direnen kişi den iki kişi daha. Bu 12 kişinin nereye götürüldüğünden koğuş arkadaşlarının haberi yok. Henüz gardiyanlar gelip onların eşyalarını götürmemişler. Açlık grevinde olan bu kişilerin su ve şekerli su almaları gerekiyor, bu yazı yazıldığında kendilerinden bir haber alınamamıştı. Tüm tutuklular Salı gününden beri arkadaşları destelemek amacıyla yemek ve ekmek almıyorlar.

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