Hundreds of imprisoned people face major health problems during the coronavirus pandemic and the risk dramatically increases due to overcrowding and poor healthcare services inside the prisons of Turkey. The issue was once again underlined by the latest report by the The Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD).
ÖHD Prison Commission issued a written statement regarding the violations of rights and the increase in the number of the coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in prisons, Mesopotamia Agency (MA) reports.
18 more prisoners have tested Covid positive in Diyarbakır, Mardin, Çankırı and Batman prisons recently, the report reveals.
“Prisons are among the most high risk areas in terms of virus infection, and our report provides evidence that prisoners are not being protected” stated the ÖHD.
”Due to the pandemic restrictions common area activities are banned, hospital treatments are being postponed for a long period of time, and at least 14-day quarantine regulations are applied after hospital referrals and courthouse returns ” it added.
“There are so many sick prisoners who are not receiving the proper treatment, and their lives are at a much higher risk. However, the Ministry of Justice continues to remain silent about this issue. The authorities have not informed the public about active cases or coronavirus related deaths in prisons, but they have to”
‘It is a violation of rights’
The ÖHD ended its statement with calling the authorities to take action about the dire conditions in prisons.
”Necessary initiatives and measures should be taken to ensure equal access to vaccines, test kits and treatment facilities within the scope of the obligation to protect prisoners’ rights and the prohibition of torture. We invite the authorities to take these steps and the public to be sensitive about it. We also demand the immediate release of sick, elderly or child prisoners and to make an equal and fair execution law amendment that will cover all prisoners”.