Attorneys from the Van Bar Association and the Lawyers Association for Freedom (ÖHD) met with prisoners kept in the Ordu, Giresun Espiye, Trabzon Beşikdüzü, Rize Kalkandere, Bayburt and Gümüşhane prisons. Meetings were held in January and February of 2021 and the report prepared following those meetings was announced at the Van Solidarity Association with Families of Prisoners and Convicts (TUHAY-DER) building.
TUHAY-DER executive Kenan Kara read the statement. “Isolation and prison conditions have worsened,” said Kara. “This isolation has spread from prisons to the outside world. Room searches were made in crowded groups, 20 people are staying in an eight-person ward, small and bad quality meals are provided, and the attitude of the guards towards the prisoners has reached a disturbing level,” he said .
Kenan Kara also called on the Ministry of Justice to perform its duty regarding the ongoing hunger strikes against the isolation of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan.
“Before the situation becomes worse regarding the ongoing strikes, and before anyone dies, we call on the Ministry of Justice to perform its duty. We call on everybody, including non-governmental organisations and political parties, to take action on this issue.”
The ÖHD and the Solidarity Association with Families of Prisoners and Convicts (TUAY-DER) Diyarbakir (Amed) branch also announced their report regarding the rights violations at Diyarbakır Campus Prison. Some of the rights violations learned from interviews with prisoners are as follows:
* Prisoners’ demands for transfer to İmralı Prison are rejected on the grounds of the pandemic.
* Prisoners on hunger strike were taken to single rooms and kept alone until the strike was over.
* Prisoners were double handcuffed during hospital referrals.
* Wards are being watched with cameras.
* Prisoners are denied proper access to hot water.
* Kurdish books are never delivered to prisoners.
* A prisoner named Kemal Hüseyin was threatened by people calling themselves spies.