Political prisoners, jailed for their political activism in Turkey have been facing oppression in heavy isolation conditions. A recent example was shared by İlyas Arat, who spoke to his family during a weekly phone call.
Arat has been imprisoned in Bandırma T-1 Closed Prison and he shared that political prisoners in Bandırma Prison have been under extreme pressure, especially after the hunger strikes were launched.
The indefinite, rotating hunger strike launched by political prisoners in Turkey – to protest against the prison isolation conditions of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan as well as the violations of prisoners rights more generally – has reached its 153rd day.
“Bandırma Prison officers have been verbally abusing the political prisoners. They arbitrarily raid our cells and confiscate our books,” Arat said.
“Especially after the hunger strikes, they have begun to file disciplinary penalties against us,” he added..
He went on: “During the raids, which have become a systematic practice now, they insult us verbally with all kinds of verbal abuse.”
“They decreased the amount of daily meals. The officers force us to buy our own food from the canteen, which is overpriced. They do not supply us any hygene materials,” Arat said.
“We are under constant threat and oppression and our friends who took over the hunger strike rotation continue their resistance against all of these practices,” he added.
Arat urged human rights organisations to be “more sensitive” about the violations of rights they face in prison.