This week, the Unconditional Justice Movement discussed the worsening prison conditions and recent increases in human rights violations.
- Prisoners held under the state’s protection are often forced to live and even die in deplorable conditions, with even their most basic necessities being neglected. According to figures from the European Council, 1 percent of Turkey’s population is either in prison or on probation. Prisons now have a population that exceeds that of 27 provinces. Apart from the fact that this is a tragic scenario for our country, the inmates’ right to life, health, adequate and healthy diet, and education are all violated.
- Despite Amnesty International’s demands for the release of people convicted or imprisoned for crimes against freedom of expression and ideas, which were at high danger in Turkey during the Covid-19 outbreak, the Turkish authorities did not respond to the violations that happened despite these calls. and unconcerned about death. Prisoners’ health requests take weeks to be answered, while hospital referrals take months. Prisoners suspected of Covid are frequently left in their wards or forced to spend long amounts of time in solitary confinement. According to the Human Rights Association’s research on sick prisoners in jail, there are 1,605 sick prisoners in Turkey’s prisons, 604 of whom are very ill. While some of these extremely ill people succumb to their illnesses, new sick inmates are introduced to their ranks on a daily basis.
- According to a report by HD (Human Rights Association), prisoners who have been obliged to buy cleaning materials for wards, hallways, and other common spaces from the cafeteria on their own typically claim that they can’t find them at the canteen. The release of criminals convicted of minor offenses who were working in prisons with the approval of Covid brought the jails to a halt, and hot and nutritious meals could not be delivered to the wards for a long period. While monotonous and unhealthy nutrition almost invites disease, it was also recorded that water was only given to the wards for half an hour a day to shower; it is clear that the rights of thought criminals, who are separated from Covid evictions, in the simplest form, as stated in Article 56 of the Constitution, “Everyone has the right to live in a healthy and balanced environment,” have a right to live in a healthy and balanced environment.
- While this is true, at least 1,276 persons have been violated in prisons in the last four months. In lieu of identifying individuals responsible, violations of rights, reports of ill-treatment, diseases, and deaths as a result of negligence are examined and attempted to be covered up. Apart from carrying out this process in a transparent manner, the fact that monitoring committees were not allowed to enter the jails and the convicts were not allowed to see each other publicly served to carry out this process in an introspective manner.
As members of the Unconditional Justice Movement, our greatest wish is for all of these violations to end, for a fair trial to be conducted, for the use of detention as a tool to suppress the opposition to cease, and for prisons to be institutions that respect the most basic human and constitutional rights of prisoners.