There are several reports that suggest that, in Turkey, several prisoners are being deprived of their right to access medical care services even though they are suffering from Covid-19 symptoms.
Whilst prisoners in Turkey have been increasingly suffering from a lack of medical treatment, Emine Abiş, a political prisoner in Diyarbakır Prison in the eastern province of Diyarbakır (Amed) informed her family members in her weekly phone call about the prisoners’ health concerns.
Berivan Abiş, Emine’s daughter, said that her mother had received a sentence of seven and a half years in prison during the “Sur case”, when dozens of Kurdish citizens were tried, following the deadly curfews in the Sur district of Diyarbakır in 2016.
Emine was jailed in Edirne Prison in northwestern Turkey, but was recently transferred to Diyarbakır Prison. “She was handcuffed until she arrived in Diyarbakır. She was infected during that journey and got sick. As they arrived in Diyarbakır, she had a toothache due to an infection. She was shivering and lost her sense of taste,” Berivan Abiş told ANF, sharing the information her mother had provided her during their phone call.
She added: “They did not take her to any hospital and the prison infirmary was also closed due to the pandemic. They called an ambulance, but they only gave her a shot and left.”
Berivan Abiş worries that her mother and other inmates are faced with the risk of getting Covid-19 in prison. “Especially in Diyarbakır Prison, the guards use only one pair of gloves when searching through all the wards. Since they touch everything without changing their gloves, they can transmit the virus from one ward to another”, she said. “Emine said two other inmates were really bad in terms of their health,” she said.
“We are really concerned about both my mother and her friends. There is a high possibilty that they might be infected with Covid-19,” she stated.