Killer of Armenian-Turkish journalist Dink put in solitary confinement over security concerns
KOCAELİOgün Samast, the assailant in the 2007 murder of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, has been put in solitary confinement over security concerns, daily Vatan reported on Sept. 1.
He had previously been serving his sentence in a three-person cell at a prison in the northwestern province of Kocaeli.
During a hearing at the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court in December 2016, Samat reportedly conveyed a letter to his wife Selma Samast, detailing the bad treatment he has experienced in jail.
“I was taken by guardians to be transferred to court from the Silivri Prison on Dec. 1, 2016. Then I was put in a room at the exit of the prison to be handed over to the gendarmerie. Three guardians entered the room, which did not have any cameras, and beat me. They threatened me and said I should hang myself in order to prevent them from killing me by poisoning,” Samast reportedly wrote in the letter, urging his wife to contact the authorities over the situation.
Selma Samast conveyed the letter to the chief judge, demanding that her husband be transferred to another prison. The judge issued a request to the Bakırköy Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office for Samast’s transference, after which the prosecutor’s office ordered his transfer to the Kocaeli F-type prison, where he had previously served.
However, the general directorate of prisons and detention houses subsequently demanded increased security for Samast on Aug. 28, after he had spent nine months in a three-person cell at the prison.
In its memo, the authorities noted that Samast’s life security could be in jeopardy and demanded that he not stay in the same cell with other convicts. Prison officials then decided to transfer Samast to solitary confinement, citing security issues.
Dink, 52, was shot dead with two bullets to the head in broad daylight outside the offices of Agos in central Istanbul. Samast, who was a 17-year-old jobless high-school dropout at the time, confessed to the murder and was sentenced to almost 23 years in jail in 2011 on charges of “deliberate manslaughter” and “possessing unregistered firearm.”
He will serve two out of three of his sentences and is set to be released from prison in four years and two months.