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Hasan Cemal Writes The ‘Torture’ To Journalists In Turkey

Written by Hasan Cemal

Hasan Cemal writes for T24:

He’s been in jail for 130 days.
Suffering from 11 different diseases.
Taking 9 different medicine.
He has to visit hospital every week.
But even going to a hospital could be a problem.
He is handcuffed when going to hospital, and sometimes he is pushed and shoved.
As the time of seeing a doctor and visit hour is overlapped, and dear Şahin prefers to meet his relatives, hospital visit is postponed for the next week.
Silicone piece is sent for his hearing aid, but it takes long time to be delivered to him.
For him, both receiving letter and sending letter is forbidden!
His biggest trouble is books.
It’s forbidden to order books that he wants.
He has to be contended with library in prison, but it is really a poor one and demand is high there.
The occasion of “Booklessness” sorely gets on Şahin Alpay’s nerves.
And he misses his relatives much.
His only happiness is being allowed to have some papers and write.
She’s been in jail for 131 days.
There is no indictment yet about her.
She has “Book problem.”
Books from outside is forbidden.
And library in prison is poor.
Letter is not forbidden, it’s said, but somehow the letters written aren’t delivered to parties.
Phone call is allowed once in 15 days.
And they let for restricted visit (behind the bars) once in a week.
And it’s only for first degree relatives.
Free visitation is twice a month.
She can meet her lawyers once a week. Permission is only for 45 minutes.
And this meeting with the lawyers must occur on condition of having some officials standing over and having videotaped.
Dear Nazlı suffers loneliness in jail and feels herself isolated.
Mehmet Altan has been in jail for 76, and Ahmet Altan for 75 days.
Both have problems of book and letter.
No permission to receive any book or letter.
Neither are they allowed to send letters “outside”, to their loved ones nor send message.
For example, Ahmet Altan has been incessantly writing a book with his handwriting.
But he will not be able to deliver his writings to a publisher which means his book cannot be published, just because it is counted as “message.”
Weekly meeting with visitors is another problem for Altan brothers.
They have the right to see 3 people excepting their family members but it is forbidden, too.
They can meet their lawyers once, for 1 hour in a week.
Whereas this “right” should be unlimited within working hours.
It’s forbidden, too.
What troubles dear Ahmet and Mehmet at most is that they are not allowed to see each other even if they have the very right to do so!
On the other hand, Utku Çakırözer, CHP Deputy from Eskisehir underlined these following points in parliamentary question he delivered to Turkish Parliament:
(1) Ergenekon and Balyoz arrestees were allowed to see 3 friends excepting their families and lawyers. This is forbidden for now.
(2) The monthly meeting with families reduced to “once two months” and weekly phone call permission is reduced to once in 15 days.
(3) Unlimited meeting with lawyers is reduced to once a week and for 1 hour.
(4) Meetings with lawyers occur to the accompaniment of a guardian and in trust of cameras.
(5) Sending any kind of written material including letters is strictly forbidden. And no letter from outside is permitted. Journalists and writers criticize this restriction as “The most inhumane punishment, psychological torture.”
(6) Ergenekon and Balyoz arrestees were allowed to receive books, magazines, etc. from their families, relatives and even from third parties. Now, sending books to arrestees is forbidden. They have to be contented with books in libraries of prisons.
(7) Journalists in jail are distressed especially about not being able to get books and published materials they need when composing their defense.
(8) Their health is under threat. There are old people and ones with serious diseases among arrestees. Şahin Alpay suffers from 11 chronicle problems. Cumhuriyet columnist Hakan Kara had a bypass surgery. Aslı Erdoğan has a risk of paralysis. Ahmet Turan Alkan suffers from unusual weight loss.
(9) There are problems with meeting the demands of going to hospital. Aslı Erdoğan has been taken to hospital but had to go back to jail without seeing any doctor. Providing medicine have a delay of nearly one week.
(10) Journalists and writers whose indictments haven’t been prepared yet, are exposed to divestment which is violation of human rights.

The last note:
146 journalists have been arrested since state of emergency was declared 140 days ago.
Yes, this is literally a torture.
And too many people are suffering from this “torture” in jails.
Selahattin Demirtaş, Ahmet Türk, Ayla Akat, Figen Yüksekdağ, İdris Balüken… Gültan Kışanak… Fırat Anlı…
Or Cumhuriyet daily employees.
Akın Atalay, Murat Sabuncu, Kadri Gürsel, Güray Öz, Hakan Kara, Turhan Günay, Musa Kart, Önder Çelik, Bülent Utku, Mustafa Kemal Güngör.
Which law, which freedom?
Check that!
That’s a bunch of torture, what is happening….

Published in T24 in Turkish.

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Hasan Cemal

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