Mazlum Doğan, a journalist and founding member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), was imprisoned by Turkey for his political activities and kept inside the infamous Diyarbakir No. 5 prison in the early 1980s.
On 21 March 1982, the day the Kurds celebrate Newroz, Doğan set his prison cell on fire and hanged himself. He took his own life in protest against Turkish policies towards Kurds and the inhumane conditions he and other prisoners were facing.
Before taking his own life, he lit three matches, placing them on the table in his cell and leaving the message, “Surrender is betrayal, resistance brings victory”.
Today, Doğan is an inspirational figure for the Kurdish Freedom Movement. His sister, Serap Doğan Mutlu, spoke about her brother.
“He was both brave and smart and I think he gave a message to Kurdish people with his protest”, she said.