Muhammed Emir from Afrîn, a prisoner for 28 years and imprisoned in Kahramanmaraş’ Elbistan Type E Closed Prison in Turkey, reportedly lost his life due to Covid-19.
Officials stated that Emir was buried in the cemetery of the nameless. However, it was revealed that he had not been buried but his corpse was kept in İstanbul’s Forensic Medicine Institute.
The administration at Elbistan Type E Closed Prison had initially sent a message to Emir’s custodian Bekir Kara and asked him to collect Emir’s body within three days. It was also stated that corpses that are not collected within three days are buried in the cemetery of the nameless.
Emir was buried in İstanbul on 7 October at Beykoz Çavuşbaşı Cemetery. Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies, politicians and others attended the funeral at Beykoz.
The Covid-19 related Emir case in Elbistan Prison became public as a result of phone conversations the prisoners had with their families. The prisoners stated that several prisoners had contracted the virus and all prisoners had been quarantined for 15 days. The prisoners also stated that their seriously ill colleagues were not treated properly and several prisoners were fearful for their lives due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in the prison.
HDP Mardin deputy Pero Dündar raised the issue in parliament. He enquired about conditions in Elbistan Prison and asked what measures had been taken there to address Covid-19. He also sought clarification regarding the number of inmates in Elbistan Prison and the number of prisoners who had tested positive to coronavirus.