On 4 July 2018, our dear colleague and former PhD Student here at the University of Aberdeen, Hanifi Baris, was arrested by the Turkish police for allegedly posting “criminal content” to social media.
7 days later now, Hanifi is still imprisoned in the Silivri No. 5 Closed Prison, and waiting for a trial in Turkey’s 11th Penal Judgeship of Peace, as reported by Academics for Peace on Bianet. We have started a petition on change.org, demanding Hanifi’s release, and are really grateful to the nearly 4,000 international signatories from around the globe who have supported Hanifi’s cause. Among them are scholars Étienne Balibar, Judith Butler, and Ilan Pappé, among many others. Please sign and share the petition as widely as possible to continue showing support to Hanifi using! Don’t forget to use #FreeHanifi and#HanifiyeÖzgürlük
Earlier this week we were able to communicate your support with Hanifi, and some of us were able to write personal letters of support to him. In turn, we are extremely happy to receive responses from our dear friend, who first and foremost thanked everyone for the tremendous outpouring of public support.
Hanifi also responded to those of us who were able to write to him personally in the following letter:
“Dear and beloved friends and colleagues,
Dear Eve, Wendy, Anna, Rose, Saerom, Chuck, Marek, Trevor, Emillio, Camilo, Alba and Sara, Karin, Rachel, Andrea, Ulisses, and Engin….
Dearest friends, I wish I could write you separately, but I can only say hello to all of you at once now.
I am delighted and ecstatic for having received your thoughtful and lovely messages. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
This is the first time that I feel a big smile on my face since I have been arrested. Your messages, support and solidarity have filled my heart with a profound joy and love. I can almost touch my smile and the joy within. And I am sure this wonderful feeling won’t fade away when I am back in my cell; your thoughts, words, friendship, love, love, and love will inspire me and keep me warm for the rest of my days. I love you all!
2018.07.09. Yours, Hanifi.”
Though its with the warmest feelings that we share these words from Hanifi, we are still very concerned about him. We will be handing out flyers to raise awareness of Hanifi’s cause at the anti-Trump protests in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and London this weekend. They are available here for anyone who would like to help. They should be printed double-sided on A4.
If you would like to feature Hanifi’s story, please email Eve Hayes de Kalaf.
Other media coverage of Hanifi’s case can be found here: