Diyarbakır Bar Association’s Prison Monitoring Commission has published a report on the violations of rights that are taking place in Elazığ (Xerpet) High-Security Closed Penal Institution No.1 and No.2, Elazığ T-Type Closed Penal Institution, Elazığ E-Type Closed Penal Institution, and Elazığ Women’s Closed Penal Institution in Turkey.
The report was prepared after a delegation from the Bar Association met with fourteen prisoners in Elazığ Campus Prison. The report concludes that infirmary and hospital referrals are taking too long, all sports activities are prohibited, meals are not healthy and Kurdish books are not delivered to the prisoners.
Prisoners stated that their most significant concern related to access to books. They are only allowed to receive one book every two months and they can never get the journals they request. Activities such as sports and conversation are not allowed and there is a frequent shortage of hot water. All the applications made to the administration regarding these concerns have remained unanswered, stated the prisoners. The report also confirmed that prisoners are not provided with enough food and some meals consist of soup only.
The delegation spoke to five people in Elazığ No 2 High-Security Closed Prison. The prisoners stated they had been demanding to go to the infirmary on health related issues for about a year but their requests were either left unanswered or rejected on the grounds of the pandemic. Their demand to obtain medicines had also not been met.
Two women were interviewed in the Elazığ Women’s Closed Penal Institution. They stated that nine women political prisoners were kept in the same ward and were only allowed yard time for half a day. This situation has been continuing for a year and a half, they noted. Female prisoner Dicle Bozan, who has a prosthetic leg, is reportedly not allowed to buy prosthetic stockings and therefore has serious difficulties in using her prosthesis.
Meanwhile, it was reported that 60-year-old Mehmet Durak Karak, who is imprisoned in Şanlı Urfa (Riha), has been infected by coronavirus. The report stated that Karak, who has been imprisoned for 25 years, has diabetes and hypertension. His family is concerned about his health and applied to the Human Rights Association (İHD) Urfa Branch with a request for legal aid. They have demanded Karak’s release.
In the “findings and suggestions” section of the Diyarbakır Bar Association Prison Monitoring Commission report, the following concerns and recommendations were outlined:
– As a result of the interviews, it was determined that many prisoners in Elazığ Campus Prison have serious difficulties in accessing their right to health, and their referrals to the infirmary and hospital have been delayed for long periods.
– There needs to be provision of hot water, hygiene materials, food, medicine, newspapers, magazines, and other materials.
– There is a need to inform relevant national and international institutions about the problems facing prisoners in Turkey and necessary applications for redress need to be made.
– There need to be meetings with the authorized persons and institutions who are responsible for the violations taking place.
– Press releases need to highlight these problems to the general public.