HDP lawmaker submits 9 parliamentary motions to investigate rights violations in Turkish prisons

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Meral Danış-Beştaş has submitted nine different motions to the parliamentary committee on human rights to investigate rights violations in prisons located in various Turkish cities, the Bianet news website reported.

Danış-Beştaş told Bianet that HDP deputies had received numerous complaints from political prisoners. Some of the complaints, coming from prisons that are the subject of the parliamentary motions, are that seriously ill prisoners are not receiving proper medical treatment; that abusive practices are rampant in the prisons; that inmates who sing or speak in Kurdish are punished for “chanting slogans in an unknown language”; and that severe disciplinary sanctions are imposed on political prisoners.

In addition to all the mistreatment the political prisoners face, according to Danış-Beştaş, political prisoners are also constantly insulted and threatened with the postponement of their release. Some of the prisoners who objected to the mistreatment were also verbally and physically assaulted by the guards, she added.

Danış-Bektaş also pointed out that political prisoners are allowed only 10 minutes a week for phone calls, while other inmates have 30 minutes per week, and that visiting hours for political prisoners are very short, despite the fact that they are usually held in remote prisons in cities far from their families.

“Constant complaints about rights violations in prisons point to an important problem in democracy and justice,” Danış-Beştaş said.

Ill-treatment and torture have become widespread and systematic in Turkish detention centers and prisons. Lack of condemnation from higher officials and a readiness to cover up allegations rather than investigate them have resulted in widespread impunity for the security forces.

According to a report by the Turkish Human Rights Foundation (TİHV) a record number of people complained about police mistreatment in 2021, with 914 people appealing to the foundation.

An annual report by Amnesty International on the state of human rights in the world revealed that serious and credible allegations of torture and other ill-treatment were made in Turkey last year.

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