Kurdish Prisoner on Hunger Strike Due to Torture


Sevcan Dönmez, a Kurdish prisoner in Kocaeli T Type Prison in Turkey, has been allegedly persecuted and tortured by warders and prisoners on the excuse that he is Kurdish and Alevi, Dicle News Agency (DIHA) reported.

Not being able to bear the persecution and beatings any more, Dönmez has launched a hunger strike to protest the ill-treatment and to demand to be held in the prison in Dersim, his hometown.

Dönmez has been continuously exposed to the verbal and physical attacks of the warders and prisoners, his lawyer Nuray Yılmaz said.

“Dönmez stated that he has been persecuted by the warders and prisoners on the pretext that he is Kurdish and Alevi. When there is news on TV or in newspapers about Alevis and people of Dersim, he is insulted and threatened.”

“He was even battered for an hour by the 13 prisoners that share the same ward with him,” his lawyer added.

On 12 August when Dönmez was beaten by the prisoners, he was hospitalized but was discharged from the hospital three days later and taken back to the prison.

Yılmaz said that Dönmez was tortured with his eyes blindfolded on the day he returned to the prison.

Dönmez told me that when he was taken back to the prison, he was tortured again with his eyes blindfolded by a special team. Marks of torture could be clearly seen on his back. He is blind in one eye. There are bruises all over his body.

She tried to contact the prison authorities after having heard about the torture, but was not allowed to, Yılmaz said.

We want to speak with the manager of the prison but they are always delaying it. It is impossible to accept what has happened. We are also trying to have access to the hospital files.

His sister Sevda Dönmez said that he called them on the phone and said “they will kill me here. Rescue me. Announce what has been done to me as soon as possible.”

She saw the bruises on her brother’s body in the prison as well, Sevda Dönmez said. “We had already noticed that my brother was scared. But the last time we visited him in the prison, he was covered in bruises. He asked us to rescue him from there. He had not eaten anything for days.”

Dönmez has been on a hunger strike for 11 days after being threatened by warders and prisoners that if he eats something, he will be killed. He will go on with the strike until he is transferred to the prison in Dersim, his hometown, Yılmaz said.

The prison authorities that we contacted refused to give information on the allegations regarding the maltreatment of Dönmez.