|Gul Aslan, a Turkish journalist jailed for over three years, without
charge was released Friday, August 20. Aslan was one of the Prisoners of
Faith visited by IHRC observers on their fact-finding trip to Turkey last
Aslan was held in Bandirma prison with 60 other political prisoners
including her husband Tamar who is still detained. Both were tortured during
their incarceration. Their three and a half year old daughter was not permitted
to stay with her mother during her detention.
A State Security Court judge hearing the much prevaricated representations
against Aslan, threw her case out on the basis that it had no foundation.
Charges against her and 46 others were of being members of the Islamic
Movement. The "Islamic Movement" however was not defined as meaning any
particular group or party which is illegally constituted or a threat to
Her husband, Tamar Aslan, already serving terms of 15 and 22 years consecutively
was interred whilst further charges are prepared against him.
Chairman of Islamic Human Rights Commission, Massoud Shadjareh, said:
"We are of course relieved that Gul Aslan is free. However, the
atrocities perpetrated against her are not unusual. It is impossible to
calculate how many prisoners of conscience there are in Turkish prisons.
The Turkish penal system recognizes political prisoners as distinct entities
and imposes harsher penalties against them than those convicted of recognizable
criminal offences. In Aslan's case as in so many others, she was detained
without charge for years.
"The Turkish people have suffered greatly in the past week. Let us pray
that when their humanitarian suffering alleviates, the International Community
does not forget their civil and political plight."
IHRC is calling for the release of all prisoners of conscience in Turkey
regardless of their political, ethnic or confessional background.