IHD: Seriously Ill Prisoners Must Be Released
Turkey’s Human Rights Association (IHD) has recently issued a press release about its research on ill prisoners in Turkey. It states that as of November 3rd, there are 544 ill prisoners in Turkish prisons and 154 of them are seriously ill. The reported numbers are lower than the actual numbers seeing as the research is based only on people the IHD was able to contact.
IHD writes that
Only a few prisoners were released for their health problems. Yet, there is a constant increase in number of ill prisoners. […] Prison regime is not humane in Turkey. However, the F Type prison regime has a structure based on isolation mentality that leads to languish of detainees and convicts.
According to figures of the Ministry of Justice and the IHD, there are many prisoners who lost their lives in prisons. This high number of prisoners who lost their lives confirms gravity of the issue.
The organisation puts great emphasis on the importance of stripping the Forensic Medicine Institution of its power as the IHD views it as being “under total influence of the political power and acts without paying attention to scientific criteria.”
The Forensic Medicine Institution demands for example that medical reports (that have been provided by fully equipped hospitals) are sent to the institution for approval where they are usually rejected. The institution also has the right to demand a second examination of the ill prisoner in question, actions that the IHD deems “hegemony” and as a way to prolong the process:
Despite high number of ill prisoners, there is a limited number of release. This fact shows that legal procedure is against prisoner. The Forensic Medicine Institution should be removed from the process and medical report given by a fully equipped hospital must be satisfactory.
The IHD encourages Turkey’s Ministry of Justice to take quick actions on several points raised in the press release:
– “[…] isolation conditions in F Type prisons trigger illnesses and quick spread of illnesses. Isolation conditions are used in a sense as a policy of languish. Therefore, isolation regime must be stopped in prisons.”
– “Physical and psychological integrity of prisoners must be protected. In this regard, food, exercise and yard conditions, facilities and standards should be improved and hygiene must be accomplished.”
– “Provisions for heavier penalties (as a result of category of political and criminal prisoners) for political prisoners in the Law No 5275 must be repealed. The Law as a whole must meet requirements of the UN rules of Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.”
– “The National Preventive Mechanism, which should be established in 1 year according to the Convention Against Torture ratified by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in the previous legislation term, should be composed of civil society and non-governmental organisations. Effective monitoring and control of prisons should be accomplished by such profile of the preventive mechanism. ”
– “The Ministry of Justice must immediately conduct health control of all prisoners in all Turkey and must keep their data till health conditions of the prisons are improved.”
Alliance for Kurdish Rights often writes about ill prisoners and the degrading conditions under which they live in Turkish prisons. Read more below.