Turkish prisons: a photograph of the state of human rights

12 December 2012 – ANF – IHD released report on abuses in prison in the first nine months of the year to mark International Human Rights Day.

Human rights organizations in Diyarbakır held a press conference in front of E Type Closed Prison on Tuesday to mark Human Rights Week (10-17 December) organized by IHD (Human Rights Association) Diyarbakır branch, MAZLUMDER, TİHV (Human Rights Foundation of Turkey), Diyarbakır Bar Association and Chamber of Doctors.

Speaking on behalf of six NGOs, Mazlum-Der executive Nurettin Bozkurt evaluated the current situation in Turkey prisons as a picture of the practices by the present political regime. Bozkurt indicated the cases of torture and ill-treatment in custody, imprisonment of relevant and irrrelevant people in so-called KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) operations, solitary confinement imposed on Kurdish Leader Abdullah Öcalan and the Pozantı incident as the most apparent examples of the state’s psychological warfare mentality that regards human dignity as an object.

Reminding that a total of 3014 rights violations were registered in Turkey prisons in the first nine months of 2012, Bozkurt listed the main violations of rights in prisons as follows; “24 cases of death and 57 injury, 171 cases of torture, 1142 violations of transfer practices, 222 violations of the right to health, 22 cases of ban on family visit, 25 cases of isolation and solitary confinement, 1005 disciplinary punishments, 318 cases of denial of the right to communication and some other rights”. Bozkurt underlined that conditions in Turkey prisons must be improved by practicing a humanitarian treatment on prisoners, and listed the proposals of six human rights organizations for this purpose as follows; “removal of the ban on Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan’s meeting with his lawyers, release of all ill prisoners including those in need of nursing, provision of an environment where prisoners are shown physical and mental respect for being humans, improvement of physical circumstances in prisons”.

Mustafa Balbay’s Search for Justice: Letters to the Media and His Compatriots in the United Kingdom

Two letters from Mr. Mustafa Balbay, detained MP, journalist and writer, sent to ResearchTurkey can now be found online. Mr. Balbay asserts that he has been detained and held in prison for revenge by the government due to his journalism activities, which, he accuses for controlling the judiciary in Turkey.

Read the Letters http://www.mesop.de/?p=26403