Ayşenur Parıldak, a 27-year-old reporter from Turkey’s now-closed Zaman newspaper who has been behind bars for 13 months, was named the recipient of the first Shahnoush Award by the Oslo-based Vigdis Freedom Foundation.
On this ‘International day of the victims of enforced disappearances’ (August 30), let’s raise our voices for the missing people of Turkey. In the aftermath of the coup attempt last year, at least thirteen people have been abducted allegedly by elements linked to the Turkish government as part of an intimidation campaign targeting critics and opponents of Turkey’s president.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has decided to evaluate the application of Emine Özben whose husband Mustafa Özben (42), a Bar-registered lawyer and academic, was abducted on May 9, 2017 in Ankara by elements linked to Turkish security and intelligence services on August 4, 2017.
There are credible grounds to believe that government agents forcibly disappeared the missing men. The Turkish authorities should promptly uphold their obligation to locate the missing men, who may be in grave danger, secure their release and if they are in custody give them immediate access to a lawyer, and let their families know where they are.
Gökhan Açıkkollu, a history teacher suffering from diabetes, died of torture in police custody as part of a post-coup investigation into Turkey’s Gülen group. According to his father, Ayhan Açıkkollu, Gökhan was a diabetics patient while human rights defenders hinted at torture and maltreatment.
Betül Selçuk, a physics teacher who has been held in pretrial detention for almost 11 months over alleged links to the Gülen movement, has told her lawyer that her 5-month-old son, Mehmet Selim, is slowly going blind in prison due to overheating and unhygienic conditions.
Following the abortive putsch on July 15 2016, allegations of unfair trials, using torture in prisons and holding suspects without trial have been made against Erdogan’s government. And now, it has been alleged that Turkey is arresting women accused of links to the Gülen movement immediately after they give birth.
A Turkish man, identified with his initials D.G., was bound to a chair and pushed into sea on multiple times as police officers tortured him while under custody. Detained as part of an investigation into the Gulen movement in October 2016, D.G. was put in pre-trial detention after days of torture, he told his brother during latter’s recent visit to the prison.
Abdurrahman Şimşek, Sabah’s special editor for intelligence reporting, admitted on Friday that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization abducted several people who have links to the Gülen movement and illegally questioned them before handing them over to the police.