Human Rights Association (IHD) Diyarbakır Branch released a report on the human rights violations in Turkey’s Turkey’s eastern and southeasters region prisons within the first 6 months of 2013.
The report emphasized on the ill-treatment and torture practices in Turkey’s Turkey’s eastern and southeasters region prisons, waring that death toll could climb due to sick inmates who are still awaiting for release.
It also went to say that the solitary confinement of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan contradicted with the ongoing peace process, saying that it must be removed immediately.
Along with his officials Muhterem Süren and Emin Ermin, IHD Diyarbakır Branch Chairman Raci Bilici held a press conference where he claimed that the majority of human rights abuses took place in prisons in Turkey.
“Even though we applied to officials several times concerning human rights abuses, most of our efforts yielded no results or officials didn’t show the willingness to resolve issues. Therefore, Turkey’s prisons have more and more problems."
"Transfers turned into torture"
The report also cited that transfers resumed in 2013, a practice that the report claimed to be used as “an intervention to yield inmates”. Bilici claimed that inmates were frequently subjected to torture and isolation during transfers.
“In a short period of time, the torture policy on inmates turned systematic and aimed to become a pressure mechanism against inmates. As our report points out, we have recieved several complaints concerning torture practices in various prisons."
"At least 450 sick inmates in prisons"
One of the most concerning issues besides from torture and ill-treatment, Bilici continued, is inmates’ health problems.
“There are currently about 450 sick inmates in Turkey’s prisons. Only 9 were released due to their treatment. 4 sick inmates died because of their release denial.”
“Despite judicial reforms and human rights associations’ efforts, only 9 sick patients have been released so far in 2013. 4 sick inmates died because of their release denial.”
“Judicial reforms have serious flaws and are yet to fulfill our demands. It is widely known that Turkey’s Forensics Institute lost its impartiality towards inmates and issued reports in a political fashion.”
“For this reason, we are calling to all official one more time. We keep on hearing death tolls from prisons. This issue must be resolved immediately. This issue must be resolved not only through judicial reforms but with a realistic approach. All sick inmates must be released immediately. Otherwise, we will keep on hearing sad news from prisons.
He also added that the situation of 150 sick inmates were critical.
“Women inmates in Muş prison held a hunger strike for 14 days to protest the ill-treatment and poor conditions. These protests happen throughout the prisons in the region. There must be a resolution immediately.”
Bilici also reminded that PKK leader Öcalan was frequently subjected to family and advocate visit limitations.
“This is against the spirit of Turkey’s ongoing peace process. This practice has no place in the international law. Isolation on PKK leader must end immediately.”
The report explicitly listed the following human rights violations (872) in Turkey’s eastern and southeasters region prisons within the first 6 months of 2013 as follows: death in prison (4), torture (94), transfer (350), health check-up abuse (73), family visit bans (7), isolation and confinement (99), violation of communication right (6), violation of mother tongue right (1), other (11). (EA/BM)
* Click here to view the full report in Turkish.
* Click here to read the original article in Turkish.
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