An Phoblacht 2 - 2022 small

23 August 2001 Edition

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Disturbing developments in Turkey

There are unconfirmed reports coming out of Turkey that government troops and police have blockaded the Armutlu area of Istanbul where there are now seven death houses. People in the death houses fear attack and have threatened to set the houses on fire. Meanwhile the office of VATAN, the sole legal publication supporting the prisoners, were raided on 8 August, their office destroyed, equipment removed. All staff were badly beaten and then taken away by police into detention.

Last week, a delegation from the Belfast-based Turkish Hunger Strike Action Committee (THSAC) met by invitation with Jim Dougal, the Belfast representative of the EU Commission. Alex McCrory, a republican ex-prisoner who has visited the death houses in Turkey, reported that the meeting had been ``constructive and positive''.

Jim Dougal explained to the delegation the current situation concerning Turkey's application to join the EU. They said he told them that te EU Commission has many concerns relating to human rights in that country.

The delegation handed over a copy of a video which shows graphically the appallingly violent attack by government troops on the jails last December. Dougal undertook to pass this on to the EU Parliament and to report fully on the delegation's concerns.

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