CALL FOR INVESTIGATION: Brutal Stabbing Attack on Businessman Hazim Sesli at Menemen Penitentiary
Brutal Stabbing Attack on Businessman Hazim Sesli at Menemen Penitentiary
Advocates of Silenced Turkey urges all relevant institutions of the International Human Rights community to petition the Government of Turkey as follows:
The Ministry of Justice and the Menemen Type T Penitentiary must urgently carry out a thorough, prompt, independent and impartial investigation into the attack in the custody of Businessman Hazim Sesli in order to determine (a) how a deadly weapon was brought into the prison, (b) why the assailant was left unsupervised for the duration of this nearly fatal attack, and (c) whether prison staff have been involved in planning the attack.
Turkish authorities must urgently provide information to resolve questions and suspicions about the Hazim Sesli incident as well as all other allegations of ill-treatment, including violations by guards and other prisoners, of Hizmet Movement members imprisoned for political reasons.
Facts of the Hazim Sesli Incident
Businessman Hazim Sesli, arrested after being detained as part of the investigations against the Hizmet Movement, was attacked while talking on the phone with his family at 4:20 PM on March 11, 2020, at the Menemen Prison. Sesli was stabbed in 7 different parts of his body by another prisoner. Sesli first received medical attention in the prison infirmary in the aftermath of the attack and was later transferred to a hospital for further treatment.
According to information received by AST, Hazim Sesli, as part of Usak 2. Assize Court’s case No. 2016/204 E, has been a prisoner at the Menemen Type T Closed Penitentiary since October 21, 2015.
Testimony received by TR 724 News indicates that while Mr. Hazim Sesli stayed in an 8-person dormitory-style cell until September 9, 2016, he was arbitrarily transferred into solitary confinement without an official explanation from the Menemen Type T Closed Penitentiary Administration. It was asserted that this transfer was requested by the Ministry of Justice. However, in all applications submitted by Hazim Sesli’s legal representatives, they were told by the Ministry of Justice that a transfer request had not been made; the ministry added that the decision to transfer Sesli was at the discretion of the Menemen Penitentiary.
Hazim Sesli had not been interviewed since his transfer to solitary confinement. On March 11, 2020, at exactly 16:20, Hazim Sesli was stabbed by Fatih Oktay while on a phone call with his family. While on the phone, Hazim Sesli first noticed the attack when the assailant accidentally stabbed the phone in his hands. Sesli attempted to protect his life against the stabber who repeatedly attempted to stab his heart. Prison guards intervened, however, Sesli had incurred 7 severe injuries, including two stabbing wounds on his left hand, two wounds on his left leg, and 3-4 wounds on his hips.
The assailant, Fatih Oktay, is a two-time murderer and known for skinning the head of another prisoner in the past. The fact that Oktay, a violent criminal, was left in the same phone area as Hazim Sesli without supervision raises suspicions and numerous questions about the security conditions at the Menemen Penitentiary. More crucially, when Hazim Sesli was brought back from the hospital after his treatment, a prison guard has reportedly intentionally brought Sesli to the assailant’s cell to confirm Sesli’s return to the penitentiary.
Relevant Human Rights Institutions
United National Human Rights Committee
Petitions Team Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights United Nations Office at Geneva 1211 Geneva 10 (Switzerland)
Fax: + 41 22 917 9022 (particularly for urgent matters) E-mail: email@example.com
Committee Against Torture
Petitions and Inquiries Section Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights United Nations Office at Geneva 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission House Committee on Foreign Affairs 5100 O’Neill House Office Building 200 C Street SW Washington, D.C. 20515 United States of America
Phone: +1 (202) 225-3599 Fax: +1 (202) 226-6584 Email: TLHRC@mail.house.gov
S Helsinki Commission
234 Ford House Office Building 3rd and D Streets SW Washington, DC 20515
Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
Mr. José Guevara, Ms. Leigh Toomey, Ms. Elina Steinerte, Mr. Sètondji Adjovi, Mr. Seong-Phil Hong
The Honorable Dunja Mijatovic
Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights Council of Europe Avenue de I’Europe F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, France
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 34 21 Fax: +33 (0)3 90 21 50 53 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Honorable Abdülhamit Gül
Minister of Justice 06659 Kizilay Ankara, Republic of Turkey