Expression Interrupted

Journalists and academics bear the brunt of the massive crackdown on freedom of expression in Turkey. Scores of them are currently subject to criminal investigations or behind bars. This website is dedicated to tracking the legal process against them.

Journalists recount life behind bars: Adil Demirci

Journalists recount life behind bars: Adil Demirci

The following questionnaire, conducted by P24 Platform for Independent Journalism, is part of a survey aimed at revealing the conditions faced by journalists in prison in Turkey, either in pretrial detention or under a sentence. In addition to documenting the problems journalists might be facing during their time in prison, this survey is also aimed at helping improve their prison environment. Adil Demirci filled out the questionnaire during a prison visit in August 2018 by P24’s lawyers.   Name: Adil Demirci  Adil Demirci, a Germany-based reporter for Etkin news agency (ETHA), was taken into custody on 13 April 2018 during a midnight police operation in Istanbul. Demirci, a German citizen, was kept in custody for five days. He was referred to a court for arrest on 17 April on the terrorism-related charges “membership in a terrorist group” and “conducting propaganda for a terrorist group,” and was subsequently jailed on the same charges. As of early August, an indictment had yet to be issued about Demirci. Prison: Silivri Prison  Detained since: 18 April 2018  In pretrial detention or under sentence: in pretrial detention    1. Are you detained with other inmates or are you in solitary confinement? How many people do you share the prison ward/cell with? I am detained with two other inmates in a cell for three people.  2. How many hours a day are you allowed to go out to the courtyard or prison yard? We are allowed to go out on the courtyard from 08:00 a.m. till 08:00 p.m. The courtyard is the cell’s courtyard. We are also allowed to workout once every week for one hour. 3. Have you had any problems regarding the food served in prison? Does the food meet your health and/or dietary requirements?  There have been problems with the food twice in the past two weeks. We were unable to eat those. Usually, the food is too oily. 4. Have you had any problems in meeting your day-to-day needs such as heating, warm water for shower/bath, laundry, cleaning, etc.? There are no problems with hot water or heating. We sometimes do our own laundry and sometimes we use the prison laundry service. We also clean our own cell and we purchase the cleaning products. We have a mosquito and insect problem. The prison is sprayed with insecticides once a month. 5. Do you suffer from any chronic illnesses? Do you have to take regular medication? Do you have access to a medical doctor and/or psychiatrist whenever you need? Have you had any difficulty obtaining your prescribed medicines? I haven’t had any difficulty with that. 6. Have you had any problems sending/receiving letters? --- 7. Have you faced any limitations concerning books, newspapers or other publications you asked for? How many books are you allowed in your prison ward/cell?  Each of us is allowed to have 10 books in the cell. The prison refused to hand me a book by Sartre in German-langıage because of “security concerns.” The book was brought to me by the German Consul. Also, we are not given leftist periodicals. 8. How often can your lawyers or your immediate family visit you? Are other relatives or friends allowed to visit you? Following the end of the state of emergency, contact visitation has been increased to once a month and face-to-face visitation to once a week. Relatives of second and third degree are now also entitled to visit. But friends are still not entitled to visit. 9. Have you been visited by a member of the parliament? If yes, could you please name those who came to your visit? No, I haven’t. 10. Have you faced any problems preparing your defense statement? Do you have access to a computer, to the library, and to your case file while working on your defense statement? I have been in prison for four months without an indictment. I am not in the defense stage yet. 11. Have you been subject to ill-treatment or any physical or verbal harassment? If so, have you filed a complaint, and if yes, what happened following your complaint? Two weeks ago, inmates in a neighboring cell complained about some prison guards in a watchtower who were shouting very loudly after midnight. Following that complaint, the guards swore at us. We filed a complaint about that. We have yet to hear back. 12. Have your demands in your petitions been met? Which of your requests have or have not been met?  We are required to file all our demands in petitions. Even when one needs to get a haircut, one needs to file a petition and then wait for two months before getting a response. Also, decisions concerning what color garments are to be worn are made on an arbitrary basis. Sometimes wearing black or dark blue is banned for inmates, at other times it is allowed. 13. Please name any other problems/demands/shortcomings not mentioned above. ---

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