ISTANBUL (Hurriyet Daily) — Turkish-Armenian linguist and writer Sevan Nisanyan, who was jailed on charges of illegal construction, is being forced to sleep on the floor in his cell and is being prevented from taking showers, activists have told Turkish media.
Nisanyan was moved from an open to a closed prison last week after he wrote a letter to the public explaining how an investigation was opened against him after he denounced a guard who stole his credit card.
A group formed in solidarity with the outspoken linguist, comprised of fellow writers, journalists and activists, has expressed its concerns regarding the conditions of his imprisonment.
“Our state persists in giving Nisanyan a hard time, even now when it faces turmoil. Nisanyan has been forcedly exiled to the Buca closed prison facility. The Torbali open prison was already marked by ill-treatment of an intellectual who has added a lot of value to this country. We are ashamed on their behalf,” said Sait Çetinoglu, a writer and member of the solidarity group.
According to Internet news portal T24, the group said Nisanyan had been forced to sleep on the floor on the grounds that there were no available beds, describing this as “torture.” It added that it was now preparing to publicize the treatment of Nisanyan to the international public.
Nisanyan was handed a two-year sentence approved by the Court of Appeals on Jan. 2, on charges of illegally constructing buildings in Sirince, a village in the western province of Izmir that he has contributed to promoting across the world.
He had completed the construction of a house after a court ruled that the area was a natural site, rejecting the ruling as an “arbitrary decision.”
In a separate case, Nisanyan was also condemned to a 3.5-month prison term for committing blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad in a blog post.