Violations increased in Serhat and Karadeniz prisons: Abolished the isolation immediately

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  • 16:37 22 February 2024
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WAN- "Hunger Strikes Monitoring and Follow-up Coordination", which announced a report on Serhat and Karadeniz prisons, noted that human rights violations have increased in prisons where hunger strikes continue, and called on the Ministry of Justice and the Turkish Grand National Assembly to immediately abolished the isolation.

Wan Bar Association, Association of Lawyers for Freedom (OHD) Wan Branch, Human Rights Association (IHD) Wan Branch, Wan Association of Solidarity and Assistance with Families of Prisoners (Tuhay-Der) Wan-Colemêrg Medical Chamber, Health and Social Service Workers' Union (SES) "Hunger Strikes Monitoring and Follow-Up Coordination", created by the Wan Branch, announced the prison reports in Serhat and Karadeniz. Many NGO representatives attended the press conference held at the Wan Bar Association Tahir Elçi Conference Hall. Sharing the details of the meetings held in Van Type F High Security, Patnos Type L, Ahlat Type T, Trabzon Beşikdüzü Type T, Bayburt Type M and Rize Kalkandere Type L, OHD member Ebru Demirtepe pointed out that rights violations increased along with hunger strikes.
Demirtepe stated that daily health checks of prisoners on hunger strike are not carried out at all in some prisons and in prisons where health checks are carried out, they are not carried out by the infirmary doctor, sometimes they are carried out by the health officer and sometimes by the prison guards on duty, and added: “It was reported that in some prisons, prisoners on strike were not given subsistence at all and in some prisons, while salt, sugar and baking soda were given, subsistence items such as yoghurt and fruit juice were not provided. It has been reported that especially in Van Type F Prison, the prisoners on strike are not provided with food and the prisoners on strike are not allowed to shop at the canteen with their own money and therefore, due to these restrictions of the prison administration, the hunger strike has almost turned into a death fast."
Reminding that vitamin B1 is of vital importance for prisoners on hunger strike, Demirtepe said that in some of the prisons visited, equivalents of vitamin B1 were given, and in some prisons, complex vitamins B1 or B12 were not given at all. Stating that disciplinary investigations have been initiated due to hunger strikes, Demirtepe said: "In some prisons, disciplinary punishments were given to the prisoners on hunger strike, such as 'withholding from cultural and sports activities', in some prisons, 'deprivation or restriction of communication and means of communication' and in some prisons, prisoners on hunger strike were specifically kept away from other prisoners. We were informed that they were taken to a separate ward (section). Prisoners have stated that each prison's approach to prisoners on hunger strike is different, that health checks are not carried out in accordance with the strike, that food appropriate for the strike is not provided and that every prisoner who goes on strike immediately faces disciplinary investigations."
Calling on prison administrations, Demirtepe said: “A health file must be created for each prisoner on hunger strike by the prison doctor and daily health checks must be performed and recorded in their files. In line with the demands of the prisoners on hunger strike, sufficient daily supplies such as 'salt, sugar, baking soda, fruit juice, ayran and yoghurt, etc.' to be consumed during the strike must be provided. Again, a total of 500 mg of vitamin B1 in the form of 2 tablets daily must be given. In order for prisoners on hunger strike to have sufficient information about hunger strikes, the information note prepared by the Turkish Medical Association in the context of health rights must be given to each prisoner. Therefore, disciplinary investigations must not be initiated against prisoners for this passive action, which has no harm to the prison order and functioning."
Demirtepe, who called on the Ministry of Justice and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, continued as follows: "The hunger strike report cards of Turkish prisons are quite bad and to prevent further bad news in prisons due to hunger strikes, the demands of the hunger strikers must be examined and their demands in accordance with national and international legislation must be met. We remind the Ministry of Justice and relevant institutions of their responsibilities to hold family and lawyer meetings with Abdullah Ocalan and other prisoners in Imralı Closed Island Prison as soon as possible. Isolation is a clear violation of the right to life. It is clear that the prisoners in the Imralı Closed Island Prison have the same rights as the prisoners in other prisons in Turkey, that there cannot be personalized practices and therefore the demanded issue is the abolition of the isolation practice, which is clearly contrary to the legal legislation. The primary requirement of being a state of law is that the administration and the executive power must comply with the law."
Reminding that Turkey's most important issue is the Kurdish issue, Demirtepe concluded her words as follows: “Resolving the Kurdish issue through democratic and peaceful means and the emergence of a democratic political space depends on the abolishing of the isolation imposed on Abdullah Ocalan in accordance with the current legal legislation and the existence of a legal system based on free and fair human rights. It is clear that Turkey's future can only be achieved by adopting democratic and universal legal values as a state mind. As NGOs working in the field of human rights; We call on all national and international public opinion and institutions, especially the Ministry of Justice, to take immediate action in order to end the violations of rights in prisons by accepting the reasonable and legal demands of prisoners on hunger strike, to protect their right to life and to end the hunger strike."

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