Sister of inmate who was mistreated and found dead in prison to run for parliament

Asya Gezer (L) and Garibe Gezer (Bianet news website)

Asya Gezer, the sister of Garibe Gezer, who was reportedly beaten and sexually harassed by prison guards and found dead in her cell in December 2021, will run in parliamentary elections scheduled for May 14 from the Green Left Party (YSP), the Bianet news website reported.

“… Several inmates have died in prison since Garibe’s death. Women in particular face many more rights violations [in prison]. I would like to be the voice of all prisoners, especially female inmates,” she said.

Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has announced that it will run in the elections under the banner of the YSP.

HDP Co-chairperson Mithat Sancar announced in televised remarks on Thursday his party’s decision to run under the banner of the YSP, saying that past experience with the closure of pro-Kurdish parties had led to that solution.

In November a public prosecutor declined to pursue the death of Garibe Gezer, after which lawyers for the Gezer family announced that the case would be submitted to the European Court of Human Rights.

In a letter sent to the HDP, Haşim Gezer, an inmate in Elazığ Prison and the brother of Garibe Gezer, said Garibe told him in a phone call how she was abused physically and sexually by guards in Kandıra Prison in Turkey’s Izmit province.

Garibe told her brother she was put in a padded cell where she was stripped in front of male guards, beaten, sexually harassed and left without medical treatment.

The Jin News Agency earlier released a video showing the mistreatment by the prison guards.

The prison administration claimed she hung herself in a cell where she was incarcerated alone. She had attempted suicide before but was put in a solitary cell despite that. She was also interrogated by the prosecutor’s office for talking about the mistreatment.

In October, 22 female deputies from the HDP asked in a parliamentary question posed to then-justice minister Abdülhamit Gül if an investigation had been launched into the prison guards in the case.

There have been widespread claims of torture and mistreatment in Turkey’s prisons and detention centers that have so far gone uninvestigated.

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