Prison authorities confiscate belongings of inmates who complained about overcrowding

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Prison authorities in western Turkey’s Denizli T-Type Prison confiscated the personal belongings of female inmates who complained about overcrowding in cells, the Bold Medya news website reported.

According to an anonymous family member, two prison cells are so overcrowded that eight women have to sleep on the floor in each cell. Several inmates wrote a petition to the prison administration requesting transfer to lesser crowded cells.

After the petitions reached the administration, prison guard raided both cells and confiscated inmates’ prayer mats, food storage boxes and cleaning equipment, among other things.

The family member said they believed the inmates were punished for complaining to the administration.

Activists and opposition politicians have repeatedly criticized poor conditions in Turkish prisons. Inmates have complained of overcrowding, poor medical care, mistreatment and poor hygiene.

During the COVID-19 pandemic inmates who went to the hospital or were newly transferred to the prison were made to stay in solitary quarantine cells. However, these cells are notorious for being filthy, damp and neglected.

Political prisoners have complained of arbitrary restrictions imposed by prison administrations and said they aimed to put psychological pressure on inmates.

In Istanbul’s notorious Silivri Prison, inmate’s said their drinking water was restricted and that they were made to use tainted tap water. They were also prevented from buying basic necessities such as food from the canteen and toilet paper.

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