News agency releases footage of Gezer being dragged on the floor
All women news agency JinNews released a video on Friday showing a woman political prisoner, who died last December in suspicious circumstances in a Turkish prison, being dragged by her wrists on the floor by women prison guards and taken into a room.
The video was released three days after the prosecution announced its decision to close the case after eleven months, stating that there is no sufficient evidence to launch an investigation into the circumstances of Garibe Gezer's death to assess whether or not deliberate acts or negligence were involved.
Gezer, a political activist from the Kurdish-majority province of Mardin, was allegedly found dead in her cell in Kandira prison on 9 December 2021. Her family was told by the administration that she had taken her own life.
The Forensic Medicine Institute conducted the autopsy before Garibe’s lawyers arrived at the Institute, and the autopsy report stated that the cause of death was "unknown."
Former deputy and removed co-mayor of Diyarbakir Gultan Kisanak, who is also incarcerated in Kandira prison, had described the death of Garibe Gezer as an incident of femicide.
Kisanak said, during a hearing of a trial on 21 December 2021, “This is a femicide. This is a murder, regardless of whether she took her own life or someone else took her life."
"If a woman," Kışanak said, “comes up and says that she was raped, that she was sexually harassed as part of routine practices, and if the state authorities, the Ministry of Justice, the prosecutor and the prison administration do nothing, then they are all responsible for her death."
On 31 December 2021, Figen Yuksekdag, former deputy and imprisoned co-chair of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), had said in a letter she sent from Kandira prison that a prisoner named Deniz Tepeli was witness to the instant of Gezer's death and that she heard the guards enter Gezer's cell only when it was too late.
"Deniz Tepeli, who shared the same prison yard with Garibe and who has spent years of her life in an identical hole in the concrete called 'a cell,' is now on hunger strike to be able to stand as a witness of a death."
Tepeli's request to stand as witness was rejected by authorities.
On 5 January 2022, after a criminal complaint over allegations of torture and sexual assault of Gezer was dismissed by the prosecution. Eren Keskin, the co-chair of the Human Rights Organization (İHD), who had filed the complaint, told Mezopotamya News Agency:
"The first time we met with Garibe Gezer in Kandıra prison, we learned that she had been subjected to torture there on 21 and 24 May and on 6 July (...) We also learned that she had been placed in a padded cell where she was subjected to severe isolation and ill-treatment, and that she had been sexually assaulted by someone who had inserted a finger into her vagina. It was after that meeting that we lodged the criminal complaint."