Kur­dish jour­nal­ist Aziz Oruç was arrest­ed and placed in cus­tody on Decem­ber 11 in Doğubayazıt (Ağrı). He is imme­di­ate­ly brand­ed a “ter­ror­ist” by the Min­istry of the Inte­ri­or and the media at the regime’s ser­vice. Today, on the fifth day of his cus­tody, we hear his deten­tion has been pro­longed. By the inter­me­di­ary of his lawyer, Aziz tells what he has been through.

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I was left for dead, I need solidarity

Aziz explains that on Decem­ber 8th he crossed from Souley­manieh (Irak) toward Iran and was placed in cus­tody at the Iran-Arme­nia border.

The police in Arme­nia took me into cus­tody, claim­ing my pass­port was a fake. They locked me up for hours. They threat­ened me and beat me. I told them I was a jour­nal­ist con­demned to prison in Turkey and want­i­ng to make my way to Europe. I request­ed asy­lum in Arme­nia to the peo­ple hold­ing me pris­on­er in this room. But all my requests were denied, accom­pa­nied by threats. They hand­cuffed me and threat­ened to turn me over to Iran “where they hang peo­ple”. Then, they sent me to Iran and turned me over to the Iran­ian ser­vices. They placed me in cus­tody for two days, before pre­sent­ing me in court. I was sen­tenced to the pay­ment of 1 mil­lion 800 thou­sand Iran­ian tomans pri­or to expulsion.”

Forced to enter Turkey as a clandestine

Aziz spe­fi­cies that, fol­low­ing this sen­tence, Iran­ian intel­li­gence ser­vices did not bring him back to the ini­tial bor­der out­post but to anoth­er, approx­i­mate­ly 1 km fur­ther, forc­ing him to re-enter Turk­ish soil as a clandestine.

They left me at the Turkey-Iran bor­der in the mid­dle of the night, sur­round­ed by barbed wire. They want­ed me to cross the barbed wire and enter Turkey as a clan­des­tine. Despite my oppo­si­tion, they threw me across the barbed wire, onto Turk­ish soil. A num­ber of times, I walked back toward Iran­ian soil, request­ing to enter Turkey legal­ly, but they would­n’t allow it. I was wound­ed on the barbed wire. They would have left me to die there…So I came back to Dogubayazit.

Nei­ther Iran nor Arme­nia accept­ed my request and they both vio­lat­ed my inter­na­tion­al right to asy­lum, this is a crime against inter­na­tion­al Law. We will sol­lic­it inter­na­tion­al courts.”

A call to solidarity

Yes­ter­day, Aziz Oruç addressed a call to pub­lic opin­ion. “As a jour­nal­ist, I attempt­ed to be the peo­ple’s voice for years. I was and am present­ly detained in severe iso­la­tion in Iran, in Arme­nia and in Turkey. What I now need the most is your sol­i­dar­i­ty. With the hope of recov­er­ing bet­ter tomorrows.”

Mean­while his col­leagues, unions and cor­po­ra­tive orga­ni­za­tions have denounced the dis­ap­pear­ance of the prin­ci­ple of pre­sumed inno­cence and giv­en their sup­port to Aziz Oruç. They have called on the author­i­ties to free him. On social media, his friends, col­leagues and sup­port­ers have launched a sol­i­dar­i­ty cam­paign with the hash­tag #Azi­zOruçGazete­cidir, mean­ing “Aziz Oruç is a jour­nal­ist”, along with the hash­tag #Gazete­ci­lik­SuçDegildir, now famous unfor­tu­nate­ly, mean­ing “jour­nal­ism is not a crime.”

An appeal to solidarity is published:
PETITION – Multilingual • Free Aziz Oruç


Hülya Oruç, his com­pan­ion, shares this fam­i­ly pho­to. “We are tru­ly fine ter­ror­ists! Aziz Oruç is a jour­nal­ist. Jour­nal­ism is not a crime. I am proud of you.”

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