Prisoner on hunger strike forcibly fed, subjected to torture, lawyer reveals

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Mustafa Koçak with his family in a prison visit.

Mustafa Koçak, who has been on a hunger strike for 254 days in an İzmir prison, was removed from his cell and brought to a hospital where he was subjected to involuntary treatment as well as torture, the Bianet news website reported.

The revelation was made by Koçak’s lawyer, Ezgi Çakır, who released a video statement in which she described the details of the intervention her client endured.

“He was dragged out of his jail cell while tied to a chair and taken to the Şakran Prison’s hospital campus on Thursday at around 4:30 p.m.,” Çakır said, adding that they were prevented from seeing him for four days, despite appealing to the prosecutor’s office and the hospital administration.

She said she was only able to see Koçak after he was brought back to another prison.

“He told me what he went through for five days, and I intend to reveal this to the public,” she said.

“He told me he was subjected to forcible treatment for five days by three doctors including the hospital’s chief physician and an internist, that he explicitly stated that he did not agree to the treatment and that they put him on a drip anyway.”

“He showed me his arms, which were black and blue all over, from his shoulders to his wrists.”

“His hands and feet were cuffed and his mouth was taped so as to prevent him from screaming. His head was also restrained after he tried to remove the drip with his teeth.”

“He stated that several plainclothes police officers, members of the National Intelligence Organization [MİT], doctors, the prison prosecutor and the T2 prison administrator were also intermittently present in the room during the intervention.”

“He was not even allowed to go to the toilet for five days, resulting in him soiling himself, and they did not clean him up, either.”

“The people who blocked us from entering the premises for reasons of hygiene, they are the ones who caused Mustafa to soil himself and made him wait for five days [in that situation].”

Çakır added that Koçak was also exposed to sexual assault and harassment, including the insertion of a baton in his rectum.

“He informed us that he was harassed and constantly subjected to verbal insults, that the officials laughed at him and mocked him.”

Çakır concluded by saying: “Mustafa has a message for you. He continues to resist.”

The video was published by the Twitter account of the Progressive Lawyers’ Association (ÇHD) and drew reactions from human rights groups, including prominent rights advocate, deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu.

“The allegations are appalling! … Was this torture carried out against a person that weighs 33 kilos?” Gergerlioğlu tweeted on Thursday.

Held behind bars for two years, Koçak was sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment on terrorism-related charges.

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