A Call from 1000 Women for Freedom to Aysel Tuğluk

Aysel Tuğluk is a citizen of Turkey. She is among millions of women who were born to a difficult  geography with layers of problems. She has chosen to use her time and energy to work with all people who were subjected to “othering” within power politics and relations, but especially Kurds and women, and struggle along with them against all forms of “othering.” Instead of ignoring the problems of her land and pursuing a life of privilege, she has been a selfless and relentless advocate of rights, actively involved in both the women’s and human rights movements. She is a proponent of democracy and engaged in Turkey’s struggle for democratization and freedom. She is a lawyer and politician. She is an invaluable constituent of the women’s struggle that we carry out with a strong sense of camaraderie.

Aysel Tuğluk was put on trial for her speeches, which she delivered as a member of the parliament and by exercising her freedom of thought and expression, and she has been in prison for years. Although accredited local health institutions determined months ago that she could not survive in prison conditions, she remains in custody due to a report issued by the Istanbul Forensic Medicine Institute. While it is impossible for her to recover in prison conditions, her health is deteriorating rapidly and irreversibly.

Aysel is a sister, a comrade to all women in our country . . .

We can no longer stay silent when her life is blatantly put at risk.  We can no longer remain mere spectators.

As 1000 women from all walks of life and different branches of the women’s movement, we invite everyone to become Aysel’s voice. We don’t want to be too late to save Aysel. We don’t want to shed tears with remorse.

Turkey’s prisons have several hundred more gravely ill prisoners. Just last month, seven inmates died in prison. The release of sick prisoners is a requisite of both national and international laws and conventions. Everyone has the right to live and receive care at home and among their loved ones. We claim people’s right to life.

We demand freedom for Aysel Tuğluk, as well as for all ill prisoners, now, before it is too late to save them.