Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Party of Free Women from Kurdistan (PAJK) prisoners issued a statement protesting against the recent impositions that are being made on political prisoners in Turkey.
As the hunger strike in over 150 prisons in Turkey continues into its 120th day (in protest against the prison isolation conditions of Kurdish PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and the rights abuses taking place against prisoners in Turkey), further concerns were reported by PKK and PAJK prisoners.
İsyan Kaya, who sent a letter from prison on behalf of PKK and PAJK prisoners, stated that Turkish prison authorities were forcing prisoners to “confess” under the law of “regret”. These types of actions have been vociferously opposed by political prisoners in Turkey and they demand that such “de-politicisation” and “disidentification” initiatives by state authorities should immediately end.
Many human rights organisations in Turkey have criticised the “regret” law on the grounds that this law further criminalises the political prisoners.
Kaya: They apply the policy of forced confessions and threaten the prisoners
Kaya stated: “They apply the policy of forced ‘confessions’ and threaten the prisoners that, otherwise, the time they have left to serve in prison will be lengthened and their remission will be cancelled. They use this policy to repress the prisoners”.
Kaya pointed out that political prisoners have been long treated unequally and unfairly in Turkey’s prisons. According to the Law No. 30 of Turkey’s “Law against terrorism”, known as the TMK, a board was established consisting of doctors, teachers, technicians, principals and guards, Kaya stated.
“The mission of this board is beyond laws and the court’s ruling. Because this board holds the authority to decide whether a prisoner can be released or not, whether the remission of a prisoner can be cancelled or not, whether to decide to extend their period to serve in jail or not”, Kaya observed.
‘Special rooms’ for questioning the prisoners
Kaya revealed that some political prisoners were being asked questions like: ”What do you think about the PKK and Abdullah Öcalan? What will you do when you get released?”
“By asking such questions”, Kaya noted, “their main purpose is to impose upon and pressurise the prisoners into making so-called ‘confessions’ and, in this way, they want the prisoners to admit their ‘regret’ for their past political actions”.
”There are special rooms prepared for this where they take the prisoners in for ‘questioning’. Prisoners were taken into these rooms and some people who claim to be legal authorities impose upon them these illegal applications”, Kaya stated.
The detainees and the prisoners, she emphasized, were routinely forced to ‘repent’ and ‘confess’, mainly because of the charges that had been attributed to them. Stating that the same types of pressures were used in Diyarbakır Prison years ago, she noted how ”prisoners like Mazlum, Hayri and Kemal resisted against these rules in Diyarbakır (Amed) Prison after the 12 September 1980 coup”. Systematic use of torture and confessions had also been applied in Diyarbakır Military Prison against the Kurdish prisoners in the early 1980’s after the coup D’etat, she stated.
“We follow the footsteps of these heroes and we are their followers. We will never let fascism rule over our living values. We will carry on honourably and carry our achievements to the next level with our resistance. As PKK and PAJK prisoners, we will not accept these illegal practices: we will not answer those illegal questions and we will not show any ‘regret’. We call on everyone to defend our human dignity and justice. We want to declare that we will resist against such applications and we will defeat fascism”, she stated.