Kurdish political prisoner Garibe Gezer (28) was found dead in her cell in Kandıra High Security Prison in Turkey last week.
Gezer had previously told her lawyer about horrifıc torture that included sexual abuse and rape by female guards.
Gezer’s lawyer Jiyan Tosun shared the details of the last letter Gezer sent to her. In the letter, sent in October, Gezer describes the torture she suffered and what the prison conditions were like.
It is much harder to explain verbally
In her last letter to her lawyer, Gezer wrote:
“After our meeting, I was so distracted that I went down the wrong corridor. The guards were shouting over and over, “You’ve gone the wrong way, come back!” but I couldn’t hear what they were saying. It’s much harder to explain verbally. I’ve been thinking about what I told you all day. It is as if I hadn’t been through the things I told you, but there was a second person inside me who was not me, who experienced it all. The day we met, I sent my blankets to be washed. They left them in the corridor at the evening roll-call. We pick them up from there. When they came to the roll-call, I wanted to pick up my blankets from the corridor, but the guards threw them into the ventilation shaft. They wouldn’t let me have them. And when I tried to get them, one of the guards hit me on the shoulder, they wouldn’t let me get them, they were trying to stir up trouble.”
They are more violent when we resist
You see, they get more aggressive when we don’t remain silent about the harassment and torture. They refused to let my aunt come and see me in the last week of August. They didn’t even accept the clothes my parents brought for me. When I asked them about it, they said, “Your quota is full.” I said, “If you’d taken them and put in the storeroom, I’d have picked them up later for a change,” but they said I had no right to keep them in the storeroom.
The right to medical treatment is violated
Friends of ours who were taken to the cells over a month ago have not been given their belongings. They have had cell punishment in solitary confinement and under torture, and have not had their needs met for weeks. Friends going to hospital have their transfers obstructed, our right to medical treatment is denied. They force us to say names out loud when we talk on the phone. They order us to say our names out loud, even though they are already written on the documents. If we refuse and cause a scene, they withdraw our right to talk on phone.
Not enough hygiene materials are provided. (Liquid soap, bleach) are given out singly. Almost all of our letters are censored. According to new regulations, we can get books from cargo every two months. But although the regulations don’t specify the number of books, the administration has arbitrarily imposed a limit of three books. They don’t give us our magazines. They’ve put a subscription requirement on that. Even when we do subscribe, they don’t give us older or newer issues of our magazines. We’re not allowed to print copies from internet either, despite the fact there is no such restriction in the regulations.
I appealed my electric bill, only to get a higher one
The electricity bills I pay are as high as what a family of four would pay.
The only electrical appliances I have are a TV and a samovar. Despite the fact that I only use them at certain limited times, I pay electric bills of 50-80 TL. I’ve petitioned for them to be paid from the prison budget. Not only did I not get a response, I got a higher electricity bill.
They only care about our rights when we die
I applied for secondary level and open education, to be enrolled. It’s three months, and I haven’t been registered, and they’re making excuse after excuse and procrastinating. You asked me if I am suicidal. My psychology was affected by harassment and torture, yes. But I attempted suicide in the full knowledge of what I was doing, because they care for our rights only when we die.
They protect and even reward man who kill or abuse woman. After the withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, the harassment and slaughters carried out by the state were effectively legalised. My suicide attempt was proactive. That is all I will say for now, and hope to see you again. Inside the envelope there are the documents of the punishments I have been given and the petition I sent to my lawyer dated 12.07.2021. The punishments I have been given to reward abusers and torturers.
Stay with love and hope.”