Inmates in Izmir’s Şakran Prison in a joint letter directed to the public said there was increasing pressure and mistreatment of political prisoners in the facility, the Mezopotamya news agency reported.
The prisoners said that while political oppression affected the entire country, it was felt much more in the prisons. “The government considers everyone a potential threat and treats political prisoners like the enemy.”
According to the Turkish Penal Code, people convicted of membership in a terrorist organization are eligible for parole after serving two-thirds of their sentence. However, the letter pointed out that some political prisoners in Şakran were arbitrarily denied release even though they were eligible for parole, which put them under immense psychological pressure.
The inmates added that their families had started demonstrating against rights violations in the prison and urged the public to participate in these protests.
Şakran Prison has repeatedly attracted attention for the mistreatment of inmates and the disciplinary punishments they have received. In late March female inmates claimed they were put in overcrowded cells along with their children while there are empty wards in the prison; that they were not given an adequate amount of food; and that the visitation days of some political prisoners were restricted.
According to the Human Rights and Equality Institution of Turkey (TIHEK), Turkish prisons have been using disciplinary punishments against inmates for even the smallest of infractions. Inmates who receive such punishments face the risk of their parole being postponed.
There have been several reports of overcrowding, mistreatment, shortage of food and other necessities in many Turkish prisons.
Moreover, a total of 1,572 appeals were submitted to the Civil Society in the Penal System (CISST), a CSO that monitors human rights violations in prisons in Turkey, complaining of mistreatment, torture and neglect in prisons between 202