Prisoners reportedly threatened with death, exposed to torture in Turkey

Prisoners in two prisons in the southern Turkish province of Mersin have allegedly been facing maltreatment, physical violence and torture and being threatened with death, according to a report in the Cumhuriyet daily on Thursday.

The Human Rights Association (İHD) has filed a criminal complaint at the Tarsus Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office regarding the torture claims in Mersin C type and T type women’s prisons.

A prisoner, whose testimony was included in the complaint, said: “They [prison officials] threatened us by saying ‘if we kill you here, nobody will know.’”

One of the prisoners, Ayşe Bozkurt, who spoke to the İHD, said she and other inmates have been subjected to swears and threats in prison. Bozkurt claimed that they were held from their hair and their heads were bent down during the transfer to the other prison.

Bozkurt added that the waters in the new prison smelled bad and their personal belongings were seized by the prison administration.

Another prisoner with Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome claimed the prisoners are deprived of water by prison wardens who treat them badly.

Evin Şahin, another prisoner, said she and other inmates are being subjected to sexist swears, threats and beating by prison wardens.

“When we came to the new prison, we were thrown down being held from our hair and neck. Our friend, Selvi Yılan, fell hard on the ground and got hurt. Since she was handcuffed, handcuffs turned down and her arms started bleeding. Prison wardens took us to the search room and started beating us… They beat us because we refused to be searched naked. I was wounded but could not go to the infirmary. We were given no water for two days,” said Şahin.

A report was prepared by the İHD about the torture claims in the two Mersin prisons after meeting with prisoners and prison officials. The report, which also included a beating incident that happened during transfer of prisoners from C type prison to T type prison, was also reported to the Tarsus Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. ( July 6, 2017

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