MEPs Özlem Alev Demirel, Idoia Villanueva Ruiz, Dietmar Köster and Niklas Nienass, demanded immediate release of Boğaziçi University students Ersin Berke Gök and Caner Perit Özen in their response to HRFT’s call for stopping acts of torture, arbitrary detention and judicial harassment against two students.
The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT) called for urgent action regarding the situation of Boğaziçi University students Ersin Berke Gök and Caner Perit Özen in 14th of December, 2021.
HRFT reported in the call that two detained students had been held in solitary confinement cells for more than 50 days, and been unable to access to their school exam papers and necessary medicine. Following their transfer from Metris Prison to Silivri Prison on 26 October 2021, letters written by their relatives have not been given to them, and since Ersin Berke Gök is vegan, the prison administration has not provided proper food compatible with his diet. They had also faced violence from authorities during peaceful protests at Boğaziçi University earlier than 5 October 2021 and currently, they have been imposed to inhumane confinement conditions. Overall treatment of Ersin Berke Gök and Caner Perit Özen has clearly violated the prohibition of torture. Their physical and mental integrity is under real and imminent risk, and their right to education has been infringed as well. HRFT urged the authorities of Turkey to immediately and unconditionally release Ersin Berke Gök and Caner Perit Özen, put an end to all acts of harassment – including at the judicial level – against them, and guarantee in all circumstances their physical and mental integrity.
Members of European Parliament Özlem Alev Demirel, Idoia Villanueva Ruiz, Dietmar Köster and Niklas Nienass responded the HRFT’s urgent call. In their response, they wrote: “As members of the European Parliament, we call on the responsible persons and authorities:
* Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and mental integrity of Ersin Berke Gök and Caner Perit Özen and of all participants of peaceful Boğaziçi University protests;
* The immediate and unconditional release Ersin Berke Gök and Caner Perit Özen as their detention is arbitrary and can only be seen as punishment for their human rights activities;
* Drop all charges against Ersin Berke Gök and Caner Perit Özen, as well as all participants of peaceful Boğaziçi University protests;
* Put an end to any harassment against all human rights defenders in Turkey, and ensure in all circumstances their right to security and liberty, and that they are able to carry out their legitimate activities without any hindrance or fear of reprisals.
* Conformity to the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, in particular with Articles 1, 5(c), and 12.2.”