18th March is the International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners. The Red Aid Organisation, founded by the Comintern in 1920, declared 18th March as the “International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners” dedicating the day to political prisoners everywhere. 18th March was also the founding day of the Paris Commune in 1923. On 18th March people all over the world stand in solidarity with political prisoners.
With class contradictions intensifying so is the struggle against the ruling class. To suppress this struggle, the ruling class imprisons the leaders of the workers. It imprisons those who struggle for a world without classes or borders.
In our imperialist-capitalist society, the number of revolutionary, communist, progressive and antifascist prisoners is increasing all over the world. A result of the struggles for hegemony among imperialist, fascist and reactionary states are the wars being waged in many parts of the world. One can especially observe this in Ukraine and Syria. These states attack the national liberation and freedom struggles of workers and labourers. The will of revolutionary prisoners who continue the struggle in prisons is attempted to be broken by heavy penalties and usurpation of rights.
The Israeli occupation state is known for its inhuman treatment of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, including Ahmed Saadat.
The secret prisons of the US imperialists and their torture in Guantanamo prison have not been forgotten. Mumia Abu Jamal, who is ill at the moment, has been held as a prisoner in bad conditions in the USA since 1981.
The Lebanese revolutionary Georges Abdallah has been imprisoned in France since 1984. According to French law, he should have been released after 14 years of imprisonment, but he still has not been released.
In India, the sick revolutionary prisoners Kisan Da and Sheela Marandi are not being released. In European countries, especially Germany, many people who struggle against the imperialist- capitalist system, fascism, racism and colonialism are being arrested or are being held in custody by ongoing lawsuits.
In Chile, the leaders of the indigenous people demanding freedom have been imprisoned for a long time.
In Iran, the fascist Islamic regime has arrested tens of thousands of resistance fighters in addition to the massacres carried out by the fascist Islamic regime in order to suppress the women-led uprising after the murder of Jina Mahsa Amini by the so-called morality police in September 2022. Dozens of resistance fighters have been given death sentences and some executions have been carried out rapidly, trying to break the people ́s resistance. Evin Prison in Tehran is a torture centre holding political prisoners in terrible conditions. The fascist Islamic regime practices all kinds of barbarity, including the rape of women who are in the vanguard of the resistance.
Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan, who was imprisoned in Turkey in 1999 by an international conspiracy, is being held in İmralı Island under the conditions of severe isolation. The isolation imposed in İmralı is gradually being extended to other prisons and the pressure on thousands of political prisoners is increasing.
Since 2015, the fascist Turkish state has put a special target on revolutionary political prisoners ́ backs. To fulfil this attack, the state uses a concept of physical liquidation, ideological and psychological crushing and destruction of the patriotic, revolutionary, progressive opposition and its pioneers. The detention terror of the police and gendarmerie is followed by the terror of the courts which arrest and impose long and heavy prison sentences arbitrarily.
While our peoples, labourers and their vanguard forces are threatened with arrest and detention at any given moment, any kind of human and political advancements gained by political prisoners are usurped. Simultaneously, their revolutionary vanguards and collective organisations are attempted to be dispersed. Prisons have turned into torture centres. The Turkish state has been unsuccessful in breaking the prisoner’s will. The prisoners don’t bow to the Turkish state and don’t regret their actions. That’s why they are being kept in prison although it was decided that they could be released.
Recently, prisoners’ rights to communicate with each other, to exchange letters, chat among themselves and their right to health care have been restricted and the practice of isolation has intensified. There are around 1600 sick prisoners in Turkish prisons, 605 of whom are seriously ill. While sick prisoners must be released according to the fascist regime’s own law, revolutionary prisoners are not released despite hospital reports and are left to die.
Embracing revolutionary prisoners who have been captured while fighting for an equal world free from oppression and exploitation is one of the duties of those fighting the revolutionary struggle. It is an ideological, political, and humanitarian duty to embrace the prisoners who continue to fight for their ideals on the front lines in prisons.
We must organise against the bourgeois liquidationist aggression we are facing, against the feeling of loneliness and pessimism that imperialist culture wants to force upon us, and we must increase the struggle. Let us take care of political prisoners, let us be guests in their cells by writing them letters and postcards, let us offer material and moral support, let us be their voices and breath on the outside.
On the International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners, 18th March, let us stand in solidarity with political prisoners by organising actions and protests.
Platform of the Voice of the Prisoners (TSP)