Baransu article exposes his ill treatment in prison

In his article published by the Taraf daily, for which he has been writing columns for a couple of years, Baransu narrated the process of being arrested and the mistreatment he suffered in Silivri Prison involving a lieutenant in charge of overseeing him who did not remove Baransu’s handcuffs before letting him use a toilet in the floor.

In a previous article published last week, Baransu called on former Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arınc to represent him as his lawyer in the coup trial case. Arınc, who has from time to time criticized the government-led “witch hunt” against the country’s dissenting voices, has thus far not responded to Baransu’s call.

In his article mentioning the ill-treatment he was facing in prison, Baransu pointed out Arınc has yet to respond to his request, adding, “Since Arınc prefers to remain silent, I felt obliged to write about the ill-treatment I am facing from the lieutenant in prison.”

“Last Tuesday, I was taken to the courthouse for another hearing of my trial. I was not allowed to have breakfast and my hands were cuffed. I was placed in a detention center, made to wait for hours for the hearing to start and not given any lunch. I also asked the lieutenant if I could do my afternoon prayers but he refused my request. Hence, I prayed in the ice-cold detention room,” Baransu wrote.

“Finally, I was brought before the judge. I was asked to defend myself but I had not eaten anything and I realized one of the judges was sleeping. I thought about the right to a fair trial while standing there and I didn’t defend myself. Moreover, I was unable to. … I was so tired. Going hungry for so long had given me a terrible headache. Again, my hands were cuffed while I was being transferred to prison,” he added.

“When I was brought to my cell again, I expressed the need to go to the toilet but the same lieutenant again did not remove my handcuffs. However, it was impossible to use the toilet without the use of my hands. When I told the lieutenant he was violating the law by ordering the officer not to uncuff me, he remained unmoved. I repeated the lieutenant was committing the crime of torture against me and asked them not to destroy the video footage of the conversation between him and the military officer,” Baransu added.

Baransu was arrested in March over documents that he submitted to prosecutors in 2010, prompting a major coup trial known as “Sledgehammer” (Balyoz) that implicated top military brass.

The documents claimed the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and then-Justice and Development Party (AK Party) under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was the prime minister at the time, agreed upon to wipe out the faith-based Gulen movement, also known as Hizmet.

Erdogan publicly called Baransu a “traitor” during a campaign rally conducted in support of the AK Party shortly before the June 7 election.


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