IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation
19 Days In Israeli Prison
IHH’s West Bank representative Izzet Sahin has been under arrest for more than 19 days now. According to international laws, a convict can be kept in a cell no more than 7 days even if he/she commits
Palestine, Middle East, Turkey 15.05.2010

Cihat Gokdemir and Gulden Sonmez, Sahin’s lawyers, travelled to Israel to attend the court hearing on the 13th of May, 2010.

Sahin’s lawyers recounted that since the day of his arrest Izzet Sahin has been locked into a 4 meter square room under inhumane conditions. The cell does not have any windows. The walls are all black, including the ceiling and the floor. His sense of time, ability to separate between night and day is tried to be destroyed. During the first 30 hours of his time in custody, none of his humanly needs was met. He was left hungry and was not allowed to sleep. Up to this day, he has been kept in a detention center, belonging to Israel Security Agency -ISA (Shabak). He was brought to court with his hands and feet in chains. In addition to these, he had been brought to other court hearings with his eyes covered as well.

The lawyers note “There was no prosecution officer present in the court room where the hearing was held. Instead of prosecution, there stood the interrogation staff of Shabak. Head of the court was a military judge who ranked as a colonel. During the trials, it was obvious that political pressure was put on the court officials. The hearing was held in a hall within the military prison. In legal terms, it is impossible to say that a normal exercise of jurisdiction exists under these conditions.”

Izzet Sahin’s lawyers express serious concerns about his physical and psychological health. These concerns should be removed by the Israeli authorities. Nowhere in the world length-of-custody extends this far. This custody has to end immediately. Should it continue, Sahin should be relocated to a place with at least basic humane conditions. Political pressure on this case should be lifted away immediately and the life of a humanitarian aid worker should never fall victim to international politics.

This maltreatment, in fact, is being directed against the people of Turkey

The illegal and inhumane treatment carried out against Izzet Sahin has nothing to do with him personally, it is, in fact, aimed against the people of Turkey. Because, Izzet Sahin works as an aid worker in the region, delivering aid from the people of Turkey to Palestine.

Izzet Sahin is a humanitarian aid worker. Humanitarian aid workers should be given priority in receiving protection and support. International and Turkish public demand Izzet Sahin’s release as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, IHH (The Foundation For Human Rights And Freedoms And Humanitarian Relief) sent out letters to Abdullah Gul, The President of Turkey and to the members of Turkish Parliament, asking for their support.

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