A criminal complaint regarding the torture and sexual assault of Kurdish political prisoner Garibe Gezer, alleged to be found dead in her cell on 9 December 2021, was dismissed by the prosecutor despite solid evidence.
After the dismissal decision, the lawyers representing Gezer were able to access the case file that had earlier been kept under a secrecy order, and one of the lawyers observed that a major piece of evidence, video footage showing Gezer being assaulted, was missing from the memory stick handed to her. The officials went on to claim that the CD containing the footage had been damaged by accident.
Speaking to Mezopotamya News Agency at a press conference on Tuesday. Eren Keskin, the co-chair of the Human Rights Organisation (İHD) of Turkey said the prosecutor’s dismissal was outrageous considering the evidence he had.
“The first time we met with Garibe Gezer in Kandıra prison, we learned that she had been subjected to torture there on 21 and 24 May and on 6 July,” she said.
“We also learned that she’d been placed in a padded cell where she’d been subjected to severe isolation and extreme ill-treatment, and that she’d been sexually assaulted by someone who had inserted a finger into her vagina. Then we lodged the criminal complaint.”
Eren indicated that the complaint had been dismissed by the prosecutor despite all the evidence, including the recording of a phone conversation between Gezer and her brother.
“In Garibe’s phone conversation with her brother, which was in Kurdish and was later translated, she tells him in fury what she’s been experiencing. The prosecutor included this in the case file; included a transcript of the conversation. Still, he made no assessment of what Garibe had said. He ignored it. Then there are pieces of video footage. My colleagues will talk about them; the pieces of footage that were concealed from us and eventually destroyed. The prosecutor talks about them in the case file as well. There are pieces of footage showing Garibe being dragged on the floor, being subjected to physical violence. The prosecutor ignores them too. And most important of all, a letter written by a Durmuş Ayiçin, a male prisoner, is considered as evidence. This Ayiçin is a serial-killer, a fascist. He tells about a note coming from Block A, claiming that a sample of semen was urgently requested in order for some prisoners to use it in a slander. He’s talking about political prisoners here. And we’re talking about a prosecutor so detached from humanity that he actually considered this letter as evidence. He consequently dismissed the complaint.”
One of Garibe Gezer’s lawyers Beritan Kalbişen indicated that after the dismissal of their complaint the secrecy order was lifted and they were informed that they would be allowed access to the evidences.
At the prosecutor’s office she was handed a memory stick which was indicated as containing all the evidence including the video footage showing Gezer being assaulted in the padded room. Upon checking the ontencts of the memory stick however, she found out that it did not contain any footage.
“They told me that all the CDs and audio recordings were copied onto the memory stick. I felt I needed to check what was in it and saw that there were only the audio files and an expert report. I want to note that there were two CDs earlier when the list of evidence was being photocopied. When we demanded to know where and how these CDs were damaged, they only said, ‘You can ask for information, but we didn’t do anything.’ In other words,, no information was provided as to when, where and how these CDs were damaged.”
Former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ, imprisoned in the same prison with Garibe Gezer, recently informed that Deniz Tepeli, a political prisoner and a witness of the circumstances in which Gezer died, has began a hunger strike demanding to be heard as an eyewitness.