Jiyan Ay, a political prisoner in Turkey, revealed the serious violations of rights she has been subjected to in a phone call with her family.
Following the breakdown of a cease-fire in July 2015 between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the Turkish authorities, the Turkish government began imposing 24-hour curfews and carrying out heavily militarised security operations in the Kurdish southeast and eastern regions of Turkey.
Jiyan Ay was among those detained during the curfews in the Nusaybin (Nisebin) district of Turkey’s Kurdish-majority province of Mardin (Mêrdin) on 26 May 26, 2016 with 70 other people, 17 of whom were children.
Detained by the Gendarmerie Special Operations (known as JOH in Turkish) and the Police Special Operations (known as POH in Turkish), Ay was subjected to physical torture, insults, and threats for days of detention. A court then sentenced her to life in prison.
77 days ago political prisoners in Turkey launched a hunger strike in over 150 prisons in Turkey to protest against the isolation of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan and against the violations of rights in Turkish prisons.
Jiyan Ay sheds a light on the serious violations of rights in Kayseri Bünyan Women’s Prison as she revealed that for over a year she has been kept in a solitary confinement cell.
Jiyan Ay demands to be transferred to another prison
“I am being kept under such conditions that are worse than the basic standards of any solitary confinement cell spared for the life prisoners. I want to be transferred to another prison due to the horrible circumstances,” said Jiyan Ay who is currently imprisoned in Kayseri Bünyan Women’s Closed Prison in a phone call to her family.
“The prison administration does not accept my requests and they continue to keep me locked here.”
Only one hour of fresh air a day, the cell lacks minimum hygene standards
“I wash the dishes in the same place that I wash my hands after going to the toilet,” Ay said regarding the lack of hygene facilities in her cell.
Ay explained that she has been able to use her right to fresh air for one hour a day. Since the window of her cell is also obstructed, this one hour she spends in the outside area is the only time period within a day for her to take fresh air.
Despite her young age she has already started suffering from various diseases like asthma, visual loss, and bronchitis due to the prison conditions that are below all hygiene standards.
Ay shared a message in the final moment of her telephone conversation with her family. “The state is trying to kill the woman prisoners here just like it kills the women outside the prison walls,” she said.
Dilan Ay, the sister of the prisoner Jiyan Ay, said that Ay family plans to launch a petition to try to help Jiyan’s voice reach the Turkish authorities, especially the Ministry of Justice.