Intimidation and PersecutionPosted: June 15, 2013
[Spanish translation here]
Istanbul, June 15, 1032 hrs
First they came after the lawyers. Then they came after the doctors. Now they come after the journalists. Let me fill you in.
Four days ago fifty lawyers were arrested because they protested the brutal repression of the Turkish revolt. Two days ago, the minister of Health warned that it is illegal for doctors and medical personnel to provide assistance to the wounded in Gezi Park’s infirmaries, and that they are at risk of losing their license.
Yesterday, the Turkish Medical Association reacted with a press release, saying that “It is not a crime to treat the wounded, in fact it is a crime not to.” They added that it must also have been a crime to set up volunteer infirmaries after the earthquakes that hit Turkey in 1999 and 2011, which caused more than 20.000 victims.
Since the beginning of the uprising authorities are trying to force hospitals to release personal data of wounded people, with the intention of blacklisting them for taking part in demonstrations. The Turkish Medical Association has refused to collaborate with this.
Now, it’s the journalists’ turn. Yesterday a Russian reporter was arrested by undercover cops in Taksim for taking photos. It was caught on film. In the evening, an Israelian comrade who has been livestreaming here for days suddenly disappeared while returning to the camp to change batteries. We have been trying to locate him all night. We were on the verge of requesting assistance from the Mossad, but luckily, this morning, our comrade turned up. No need for foreign intervention yet. Unless Putin suddenly cares about the wellbeing of Russian journalists.
Chilling news comes from Ankara, too. Ethem Sarısülük, the man who died two days ago after having sustained critical injuries was probably killed by live ammunition. Authorities are trying to cover it up, as they didn’t allow the family’s attorney to witness the autopsy. The crime was recorded on a street security camera, the killer has been transferred, his identity hasn’t been disclosed. The family has denounced the police force for murder and tempering with evidence. At the same time, in a most disgusting gesture, the mayor of Ankara had a banner raised in the park where Ethem was hit. It said ‘Precious Turkish police, Ankara is proud of you’.
Considering all this, we can not possibly stop the protest and go home because mr. Erdogan made a vague promise of referendum. This morning, Taksim Solidarity, the nucleus of the Gezi Park protest that does not officially represent anyone, announced that this is only the beginning.
“On the 18th day of resistance, Saturday June 15, we keep standing on guard as Taksim Solidarity for the park and all the living things it contains, for our city, our trees, our living spaces, our private lives, our freedoms and our future.”