On February 28, 2006, Bahar Kimyongur was sentenced to four years in prison for having translated and published a statement by the DHKC (Revolutionary People's Liberation Front).
On April 28, 2006, Bahar was arrested by the Dutch police because of an international arrest warrant issued by Turkey as a result of Bahar interrupting a Turkish government minister at a meeting of the European Parliament in 2000, where Bahar denounced torture in Turkey's prisons. Since his arrest, he has been held at Dordrecht Prison.
"If solidarity is now a crime, I am ready to suffer whatever punishments my ideas may expose me to, no matter how severe they are," Bahar said. Today he continues his activities in prison, to the extent that he is able to.
Here are two texts translated by Bahar:
ABDUCTED AND TORTURED BY JITEM
Article taken from the weekly magazine “Yuruyus”
(Turkish: "March") no. 52, May 14, 2006, p.24
On April 21, Mr. Bayram Iclek, a member of the Aegean (ie. Turkey's western coastal area) section of the Association for Rights and Basic Freedoms was abducted and disappeared. He only came to light two weeks later, after having undergone indescribable tortures. At a press conference organised on May 8 by the Izmir section of CHD (Association of Progressive Lawyers), Mr. Iclek revealed that he had been abducted on the morning of April 21 right in the middle of the main square of Bornova by six members of the notorious gendarmerie intelligence service JITEM. (My additional note: the gendarmerie are a kind of military police in Turkey. JITEM are in effect the armed forces intelligence service, while another organisation, MIT, is the civilian equivalent. Both JITEM and MIT have tortured and killed people.)
The JITEM forced him into a dark blue Ford minibus with the license plate 35ZR8268.
Here is what he said:
"They took me to the Manisa Gendarmerie Commandant's Office. On the way they kept saying that they had kidnapped me so as to eliminate me. At the same time they insulted me and beat me. When we got there they removed all my clothes and then hung me by the arms from a large and cold pipe. Then they gave me electric shocks to my genitals. During this time, while speaking of the 'elder brother', one of my torturers said to me: 'My colonel didn't have us do December 19 (Bahar's note: the torturer means December 19, 2000, the day when dormitory prisons were attacked in Turkey to force political prisoners into the new cellular F-Type prisons). If he had authorised it we would have bumped you off right then. But your final destiny is to kick the bucket today. However, if you stop your revolutionary activities, you will be released right away. It's your decision: are you going to stop or are you going to continue?'
I shouted at them: 'Human dignity will defeat torture'. At that point they hit me very hard. Then they took me down and started hitting me with sandbags. Each time I fell down they raised me up and hit me again. They lifted me up in this way 12 or 13 times.
Finally they could not get me on my feet and so they kicked me until was lying on my back. After they had vented their frustrations in this way, they put me face down and injected me with an unknown substance in the spinal cord. I suddenly felt paralysed, and then I lost consciousness. When I came round, they repeated the same question. Would I stop or would I keep doing what I was doing? I said to them: 'You keep going on, you bunch of dogs and torturers, waiting will do you no good.'
Again, they closed in on me and one of them tried to strangle me with a rope, telling me to 'Say your final prayers.' He pulled so tightly on the rope that I fainted again. When I came round, nobody was about. They had left me in the middle of the night along a road, with a bag containing my clothes. Then I started walking and finally realised that I was on the road leading to the national park at Mount Spil."
"We are resisting so as not to sink into the
nothingness called isolation"
Letter published in the weekly "Yuruyus" no. 52, May 14, 2006, p.40
This letter was written to one of his correspondents by Umit Ilter, a DHKP-C (Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front) prisoner who has been kept in complete isolation since the December 19, 2000 operation. The dots are parts of the letter censored by the commission which monitors post sent by and to prisoners.
As a Free Prisoner*, I would like to tell you of my experiences over more than five years. Only note that if I explain it in my own way, the censorship commission will black out sentences or words deemed subversive, or worse, it will destroy this letter completely. This likelihood in itself gives you an idea of what isolation conditions are like.
So out of prudence I will restrict myself to the description of isolation given by the writer Stefan Zweig in his work 'The Chess Player' so as to make you comprehend our daily Calvary: (My note: Stefan Zweig was an Austrian Jew who fled the Nazis and committed suicide in exile in Brazil in 1942.) 'They have put us into complete nothingness, for it is well known that there is nothing sadder for the human spirit than nothingness...'
(...) For five years I have seen no face other than that of the prison guards who do not have the right to say the least word to us, nor to answer the least question.
Neither by day or night do my eyes, ears or any of my other senses have the right to any nourishment. The human being is reduced to living with his own voice, his own body and four or five silent objects: a table, a bed, a window, a basin. He resembles a diver in a suit of glass, swallowed up in the black silent ocean and cut off from the outside world without any possibility of coming to the surface. He knows himself to be lost in an abyss of the forgotten. Here there is nothing to see, nothing to hear, nothing to do. The human being is constantly and everywhere surrounded by nothingness.
(...) The human being waits from morning to evening for something. But in vain. He still waits. Still nothing. And he keeps waiting. And he thinks, thinks and thinks until his temples explode. And nothing happens. The human being is alone. Profoundly alone.
(...) He cannot even tell of his suffering, that he wanders in the same nothingness, with the same table, the same bed, the same bed, the same wallpaper, the same silence, the same guard who pushes food through the slot in the door without even looking at him, the same empty thoughts which lead to madness and destruction.
(...) The effects of isolation exceed this description by far. We are resisting so as not to sink into the nothingness called isolation.
For us, to resist is the most normal thing and is even an obligation. At the risk of seeing our dignity which determines our personality, along with our opinions and ideas, down in the sea of nothingness. For us there is no question of that. We will never give up our dreams. We refuse to become miserable figments of a stunted existence according to a script written by our executioners. We know that the policy of isolation threatens life and the people and that the F-Type prisons are the laboratory of this strategy. We refuse to be guinea pigs for any sinister experiment.
We want to protect our human dignity and hope, even at the price of our lives.
Those who have thought up these F-Type prisons are the USA and the European Union. The World Bank has financed the project and the IMF has granted the credits needed for building them. Why? Why do these imperialist forces which seek to increase their domination of our country to the detriment of our workers and employees persist in imposing this prison model?
In seeking an answer to this question, you will also find out why we have not given in. Through our resistance we feel close to all those who aspire to the independence of our country, and in return, we seek their support.
In fact, we consider it a patriotic duty to resist this prison regime. Moreover we will not be able to conquer the nothingness created by isolation both within and outside prison walls without the participation of the majority of patriots.
From all of us to all of you, greetings and friendship.
Kandira F-Type Prison"
* "Free Prisoners" is a term for prisoners who remain free, no matter how deeply incarcerated, because they have not surrendered.