In many prisons in Turkey, the number of prisoners who have tested positive for coronavirus has increased markedly. Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Kocaeli deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu announced that another person in Menemen T-Type Closed Prison was diagnosed with Covid-19.
He stated that coronavirus infection is spreading in almost every prison, with even prison directors and staff testing positive. He stressed the fact that there has been an extraordinary increase in Menemen Prison, and that the prison prosecutors he sought further information from over this matter were not sensitive to these concerns.
Non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) noted that the Ministry of Justice does not act transparently in these matters. Consequently, prisoners’ families cannot obtain accurate information about the state of health of their relatives in prison. The Ministry has not made any detailed statements over the the number of prisoners testing positive for coronavirus or with Covid-19 since the coronavirus outbreak. The Ministry had only announced that three inmates had died due to the pandemic.
HDP deputy Gergerlioğlu reported that one more prisoner had tested positive for coronavirus in Menemen Prison and six people had been hospitalized from prison yesterday due to the pandemic. He shared a message from one of the prisoners’ families. That message noted: “My husband is in Menemen T-Type Closed Prison. His coronavirus test was positive. The management of the prison cancelled visits. I learned that they also cancelled phone calls today. They can take all the precautions that have been recommended, but they do not. What will happen? It is very troubling not to hear from our loved ones. At least they should not take away our rights to make phone calls to them”.
Gergerlioğlu stated that a similar situation is being applied in several prisons across Turkey. The authorities, however, have refrained from providing information about these losses of prisoner rights. Gergerlioğlu called on the Ministry of Justice and the authorities to act transparently.