As the Unconditional Justice Movement, the subject we focused on this week was the sick prisoners and violations in prisons in Turkey.
- Prisons in Turkey are places where the right to life is violated for prisoners, especially sick prisoners, due to overcrowding of prisons, late release to the infirmary, not providing diet meals to patients, not being referred to hospitals or being delayed, surgery and examination in handcuffs, unheated and unventilated wards, difficult access to clean water, and insufficient health personnel.
- How many more prisoners are held than the current capacity and the number of sick prisoners are hidden by the Ministry of Justice. According to the report of the Human Rights Association, there are 1605 patients, 604 of whom are seriously ill. However, it is known that this number is much higher.
- Despite the pandemic being added to these conditions and it is clear that it will continue for a long time, the fact that sick prisoners are still not released shows a clear violation of patients’ rights and, as stated in the ECHR Gülay Çetin v. Turkey decision, a violation of the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment.
- It is a life-threatening situation for the prisoners, who cannot continue their lives in quarantine wards, to be left alone for 14 days. Mustafa Kabakçıoğlu, who is remembered with his death on the white chair, is unfortunately an example of these violations.
- Prisoners cannot be treated properly. Many seriously ill have died in prison since 2017 (the number is known to be at least 90). While the total number of doctors in prisons is 279, only 8 doctors work on a permanent basis. In other words, only 279 doctors who work for 235 thousands 888 prisoners; stated in other words, one doctor cares for 845 prisoners.
- In addition, the Forensic Medicine Institute (FMI) does not make evacuation decisions by following a political attitude. The reports given by full-fledged hospitals are not accepted by the Forensic Medicine Institute. Sometimes, although FMI reports “cannot stay in prison”, the release of the detainees does not take place. After the FMI’s report, the relevant Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office should be evaluated that “it will not pose a danger in terms of public security”. As a result of this chain of unlawfulness, hundreds of seriously ill patients are literally tortured in prisons. Bilal Konakçı, who was 98% disabled, was arrested a month and a half ago and Gülay Çetin, who stated in the report given by the FMI one month after her death, that “she should be evacuated immediately and her treatment continued outside”, is one of these patients.
- While the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Committee for the Prevention of Torture-CPT) 2020 report emphasizes the importance of Turkey to take urgent measures to reduce the overcrowding in prisons and ensure that detainees can access health care services, sick detainees and prisons in Turkey, an improvement in conditions has not yet been implemented.
Stating that as the Unconditional Justice Movement, the individual rights and freedoms of prisoners such as developing themselves, communicating with the outside world, establishing social bonds with other prisoners, and living a healthy life cannot be touched, they want to end the ongoing illegal practices and negligence in prisons with transparent and regular information. We demand that the conditions be brought on a humanitarian basis.