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Arrested Austrian put into Turkish prison

14. February 2005

Sandra Bakutz is accused of membership in a “terror organization”

Last Thursday, February 10, Sandra Bakutz was arrested at the airport of Istanbul and, according to her lawyer, transferred to prison. She has been accused of membership in the DHKP/C (Revolutionary People´s Liberation Party/ Front).

Ms. Bakutz got engaged for the rights of thousands of prisoners in Turkey. Her work, which brought her in contact with the parties of the Austrian Parliament and several civil rights groups, was focused on the acknowledgement of the civil liberty rights and to bring an end to the political judiciary and torture against of dissidents in Turkey. Now she herself seems to get victim of this regime in which still the military pulls the strings in the background.

The present Turkish political system was basically established in the bloody military coup of 1980 which was supported by the NATO. A guerilla movement, based on the Kurdish and Turkish left, revolted against the Junta which resembles fascism. The DHKP/C is a historical part of the democracy movement against these generals.

The Turkish military used the terror hysterics after September 11 not alone to put the PKK on the so called “black list” of the United States and European Union, but also the DHKP/C and other liberation movements.

The “black list” violates not only international law, but also basic democratic rights: Not criminal offences are labeled terrorist, but political organizations – organizations which fight against an antidemocratic state.

No evidence whatsoever can be provided that Sandra Bakutz was member of DHKP/C (which in Austria would be perfectly legal) nor any other offence. Her only crime was it to have a political opinion and to engage for it.

The Austrian government has a double responsibility for the persecution of their citizens in Turkey – bear in mind Elisabeth Brunner, who was tortured because of her engagement against the NATO conference. First the Austrian government participated in a leading position in the exculpation of Turkey with regard to the political prisoners and the oppression of the Kurdish people. Secondly, the government was involved in the installing of the “black list”, which floats like an undemocratic Damocles sword over national constitutional rights.

We demand the Austrian government to work on the liberation of Sandra Bakutz!

Anti-imperialist Camp