The Istanbul branch of the Human Rights Association (İHD) has announced its 2020 Report on Rights Violations in the Marmara Region, the Mesopotamia News Agency reports.
The report brings together rights violation applications filed with the İHD Istanbul branch in 2020 from prisons located predominantly in the Marmara region, as well as reports prepared by various institutions and news sources. The 438-page report shows that the number of violations in 2020 exceeded the tally of rights violations that occurred during the 2016 State of Emergency (OHAL) process.
Prisoners do not have their basic rights
Reading the report, İHD Istanbul branch chair Gülseren Yoleri said Turkey is passing through a period in which freedom of expression, freedom of thought, and other freedoms are all prohibited.
“844 people lost their lives and 358 were injured in attacks against their rights to live, and rights violations also continued in prisons in Turkey in 2020,” Yoleri said, adding, “5,369 rights violations took place in prisons in Turkey in 2020. Among them, 2,142 involved access to medical treatment, 1,181 related to torture and maltreatment experienced by prisoners, 1,422 were about not having access to communication with people and isolation, and 496 were complaints of discriminatory attitudes.”
3,786 people were detained unlawfully
According to the İHD report a total of 3,786 people were detained unlawfully in Turkey.
Yoleri noted that 1,867 of them were detained during the 2015 coup attempt, 1,394 due to participating in events, marches, or meetings, and 24 due to their social media posts. “Among those who are detained were 47 journalists, three writers, 12 lawyers, 203 representatives of different institutions, and 31 transgender persons,” she noted.
53 events prohibited
The report revealed that 53 events were banned in 2020.
“These bans violate freedom of expression and demonstration,” the İHD Istanbul cranch co-chair said. “Police attacked the protestors in 40 of these events and 13 events were banned without any explanation from officials.”
122 years of penalties for journalists
“Press freedom was again under attack in 2020,” said Yoleri.
“There were 31 incidents involving 50 detentions, 13 arrests, nine judicial controls, one house arrest, 3,729 TL in administrative fines, one social media restriction regarding freedom of expression. While one journalist and newspaper’s office were physically attacked, one journalist was also threatened.”
The files opened against 196 journalists continued in 2020 according to the report.
“In the cases against journalists, there were 45 acquittals given and three cases were suspended. A total of 122 years, four months, and 14 days in prison were given to journalists with the accusations of ‘terrorist propaganda’, ‘insulting the President’, ‘praising crime and the criminal’, ‘violating the confidentiality of the investigation’, ‘publishing the organisation statement’, ‘espionage’, and ‘violating the MIT Law’.”