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Released after three years detention
without charge in Turkey

In April 99 Innovative Minds joined the campaign to free prisoners of faith and to fight the ban on hijab in Turkey. We launched our camapign in the name of one of the imprisoned sisters - Sister Gul Aslan. In May 96, Gul then aged 21 with a six month old baby, was arrested after visiting her husband Tamer in Prison. Tamer is being held for his Islamic beliefs. She has been imprisoned for over three years without charge.

Today we are over joyed to announce that Sister Gul Aslan has been freed! All praise is due to Allah.

We wish to thank all you brothers and sisters who wrote letters of protest, and helped the campaign in other ways. May Allah reward all your efforts, Ameen.

The campaign to free other prisoners including Gul Aslan's husband Tamer continues. We need your continued support.


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 year.

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 state security. 

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.

Turkey Campaign Index