Mustafa KOÇAK was a poor child at the age of 28. Turkey and the peoples of the world heard of him from his death fast resistance which continued for 296 days.
Mustafa was detained on September 23, 2017, for an unrelated incident. He was tortured in the police for 12 days. He was beaten for hours. He was dragged on the ground, wetted, kept in the cold and dark. His head was sacked and then tinned and hit for hours. His pregnant sister was threatened with rape. With these tortures and threats, they tried to force Mustafa to accept the allegations, to cooperate with the police, to make false statements about others, to defame. Mustafa refused, saying “I will die rather than live my head”. If he made a statement, he would have gotten out of safety, but he was arrested on October 4, 2017 because he denied this dishonor.
On 31 March 2015, Mustafa was accused of providing the weapon used in the killing of prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz at the courthouse in Istanbul Çağlayan. The only evidence about him was the false statements of two witnesses, who were subjected to the oppression, blackmail and threats of the police. Berk Ercan, one of these witnesses, gave false statements about 344 people together with Mustafa. He slandered 344 people like Mustafa and caused them to be imprisoned for years. In his statement at the court about Mustafa, he said “he did not have a direct knowledge of the incident”, he said contradictory statements by saying “he told me at the restaurant that he gave the weapon used in the action.”.
One of the witnesses who slandered Mustafa was Cavit Yılmaz. Cavit Yilmaz, after going abroad, got rid of the threats of the police and admitted to the media that his statements about Mustafa Kocak were taken by the police with torture, oppression and threats and these statements were not real. Later, he also reported these confessions in a letter to the 27th Assize Court in Istanbul, where Mustafa Koçak was tried. But the court did not consider them. Mustafa and his lawyers requested that this witness be heard in court, but these requests were not accepted.
The Istanbul 27th High Criminal Court did not allow Mustafa to defend himself or prove his innocence. They ignored the right to a fair trial, especially the right to defense. All requests by Mustafa and his lawyers were requests. The court, which did not collect any evidence in favour of Mustafa, did not consider any evidence presented by Mustafa and his lawyers.
The only evidence against Mustafa was Berk Ercan’s slanders, there was no other evidence. On July 11, 2019, the court sentenced Mustafa to two lifetimes and 42 years in prison which was given with “conscientious conviction” based on the lies of this slander, without any further evidence. There was no real trial against Mustafa, only the punishment was given. The AKP government wanted to put the prosecutor hostage action on Mustafa’s back, which it saw as one of the three important events that it could not solve, the action shook it’s power and caused a political crisis. In other words, Mustafa was chosen as a victim for a pre-punished sentence.
Mustafa did not accept the dishonour and collaboration imposed on him at the beginning, nor did he accept this injustice. He started a hunger strike on 3 July 2019, demanding a fair trial against this injustice he faced and this lawlessness he faced. His only request was to hear a witness named Cavit Yılmaz in court, and a fair trial.
This request was not met by Mustafa. Upon this, Mustafa declared that on the 90th day of his resistance, he turned the hunger strike into a death fast and continued his resistance until the demand for a fair trial was met.
Mustafa has resisted hunger for 296 days since July 3, 2019, when he began his hunger strike. He was censored, his voice tried to drown, he resisted. He was kidnapped to the hospital and forcibly intervened for 4 days and resisted. Under the name of medical intervention, leftovers doctors tortured Mustafa who resisted. Hands, arms, legs cuffed to bed, head tied to bed with rope, veins blown 73 times given drips, he resisted. They insulted him, harassed him with a baton, threatened him with rape, he resisted. He tried to make his voice heard by resisting under all conditions, to explain the injustice he suffered and the injustice he experienced. His request was neither acquittal nor eviction. He just wanted his own witness to be listened. So he wanted justice. He went hungry for 296 days.
He resisted this by melting cell by cell. For this he have martyred on April 23, 2020. He has now become a symbol of resistance, honor and Justice.
We now owe Mustafa a debt of Justice. This is our debt not only to Mustafa but to everyone who is hungry for justice like Mustafa, all of our people. Because he wanted justice not only for himself, but for all those who were left unfairly. We will fight his war for justice now. We will carry Mustafa’s flag of Justice. We will tell the whole world about this persecution, this injustice.
LET US ALL RAISE THE STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE FOR MUSTAFA KOÇAK!
Video and text: People Law Bureau – International Office. https://twitter.com/HalkBurosu