Document - Turkey: Further information on prisoners of conscience: Mahmut Sakar, Nimetullah Gunduz, Abdullah Cager, Melike Alp (f), Sinan Tanrikulu, Firat Anli, Hanifi Isik, Servet Ayhan
EXTERNAL (for general distribution)AI Index: EUR 44/57/95
1 May 1995
Further information (8) on UA 450/94 (EUR 44/157/94, 22 December 1994) and follow-ups (EUR 44/04/95, 6 January 1995; EUR 44/12/95, 13 January; EUR 44/27/95, 6 February; EUR 44/38/95, 1 March 1995; EUR 44/39/95; 10 March; EUR 44/39/95, 20 April; EUR 44/56/95, 27 April) - Prisoners of Conscience
TURKEY:Mahmut Şakar, secretary of Diyabakır branch of the Turkish Human Rights Association (HRA)
Nimetullah Gündüz, lawyer, board member of Diyarbakır HRA
Abdullah Çağer, lawyer, board member of Diyarbakır HRA
Melike Alp (f), board member of Diyarbakır HRA
Sinan Tanrıkulu, lawyer, member of Diyarbakır HRA
Fırat Anlı, lawyer, member of Diyarbakır HRA
Hanifi İsık, teacher, member of Diyarbakır HRA
Servet Ayhan, lawyer, member of Diyarbakır HRA
At a hearing in Diyarbakır State Security Court on 1 May 1995, Sinan Tanrıkulu, Fırat Anlı, Hanifi İşık and Servet Ayhan were released on the recommendation of the State Security Court Prosecutor. All incriminating statements given in court at the hearing were reportedly withdrawn on the grounds that they had been extracted under torture or threat of torture in police custody.
Congratulations to all those who participated in this action. Please send no more appeals. Amnesty International will continue to monitor this case.
On 26 April, Amnesty International received the following message from the lawyer Mahmut Şakar, released on 17 April:
"We were imprisoned for more than four months in connection with a report we had prepared following research into human rights violations in our region. Our trial for this book continues.
During this time, news of your efforts could not overcome the stone walls of the prison and reach us directly. Nevertheless, through various channels, we learned of your actions. In the conditions under which we were living, the support you showed for us meant a great deal, and became an important psychological strength in meeting the various difficulties in the course of our struggle.
The land where people, regardless of their language, religion, colour, beliefs and thoughts, may live lives of freedom and equality without oppression and tyranny, is a land for which humanity has struggled for centuries, paying many heavy costs. In our blue planet, at the end of the twentieth century, medieval atrocities are still being suffered. But humanity has always continued to show its beautiful, good, honourable and progressive aspect. In spite of the distance and the differences between us, we stand together for this aspect of humanity. It is what we share.
We greet you with affection and respect in the name of all our friends here, and wish you success in your work."