Articles  •  Politics & Economics

Free journalist Stephen Kaczynski

25 July 2015

On the 2nd April, members of the Turkish police and Army raided the İdil Culture Centre (İdil Kültür Merkezi) in Istanbul.  They arrested members of the popular musical group Grup Yorum and UK national and journalist Stephen Shaw Kaczynski. On that very weekend an anti-imperialist conference against prison isolation was going to be held at the Idil cultural centre where Stephen was going to act as an interpreter, a role he has played for years. The arrests were clearly a political act of repression ordered by Erdogan and his right wing AKP government.
Whilst members of Grup Yorum have since been released, Stephen Shaw Kaczynski remains detained without charge and is held in severe isolated conditions where he is in a cell 23 hours a day. Members of Stephens’s family have travelled to visit Stephen but the prison authorities have denied such visits. He has also been denied access to books, letters and other reading material. Due to these severe prison conditions Stephen went on hunger strike on the 25th June 2015 and during the second week of his hunger strike the prison authorities threatened to force feed him which is extremely dangerous and tantamount to torture.
Who is Stephen Shaw Kaczynski?
Stephen Shaw Kaczynski was born on the 5th of July 1963 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He attended Linlithgow Academy and then went onto study Russian and German at the University of Edinburgh in the 1980s. Stephen has worked for many years as a journalist. He worked for several years for the BBC World Service based in Reading, England and has also worked as a Sub Editor for various newspapers. Stephen is a kind and gentle man who abhors violence and has long campaigned for Human Rights and political freedom. He is a much-loved son, brother and uncle.
In 1996, when Stephen was working for the BBC he gained first hand experience of the repression carried out by the Turkish government against Turkish left wing and working class activists, many of whom went on hunger strikes and fasted to death in Turkey’s renowned hell holes of prisons. Stephen has acted as an interpreter as well as a journalist and teacher. His deep concerns for human rights abuses and democratic freedoms has led him to write books and articles protesting these human rights abuses in Turkey over a number of years. He has participated in symposiums, seminars, panels, especially in relation to the continuation of  Death Fast resistance, where 122 individuals have been killed in Turkey’s notorious F-Type prisons.
In 2010 the European Federation of Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists including Britain’s National Union of Journalists launched a campaign against state censorship and the arrest of journalists in Turkey. We now need journalists and newspapers to highlight Stephen’s plight in order to put international pressure on the Turkish government to release him immediately. Every effort to publicise his grave situation is urgently needed.
The campaign for Stephen’s freedom is holding weekly protests outside Turkey’s embassy on every Wednesday at noon. Human rights campaigners have written letters to MPs in the UK.  Help us to build a campaign for the immediate release of Stephen Kaczynski!
The Ministry of Justice:
Telephone:  90 (0312) 417 77 70, Fax:  90 (0312) 419 33 70, E-mail:  ı[email protected]
Address:  06659 KIZILAY / ANKARA
Please also support Steve by writing letters and cards to:
Maltepe  3  Hapishanesi,
Büyük Bakkal Köy Mah.
Yakacık Yolu Üzeri,
In the United Kingdom please contact the following to ask for their support and help with the immediate release of Stephen: Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Prisoners Abroad Reprieve , Fair Trials International Amnesty International
For more information please email [email protected]
Petition: button&time=1436043587

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