Six inmates died in Central Anatolia prisons in three months: report

Turkey’s Human Rights Association (İHD) has released a report on alleged rights violations in prisons located in the Central Anatolia region, which detailed more than 1,000 violations as well as the death of six prisoners, the Artı Gerçek news website reported on Thursday.

The İHD’s Ankara branch announced the report, which covers the last quarter of 2023 and concerns 31 facilities located in the region.

According to the report, six inmates lost their lives in the period covered, two of whom died under suspicious circumstances.

The report said the İHD received complaints from 166 people about Central Anatolian prisons, revealing a total of 1,046 alleged rights violations.

Of the violations, 286 involved the denial of healthcare to sick inmates. The İHD’s April 2022 data had said there were at least 1,517 sick prisoners throughout the country, 651 of whom were suffering from severe illness.

The report also addressed the problem of arbitrary disciplinary sanctions, stating that in some cases inmates were disciplined for simply greeting each other. Sanctions included restrictions on communication with the outside and solitary confinement.

These disciplinary sanctions also led to the denial of parole to eligible prisoners by “monitoring boards,” bodies consisting of prison officials who are authorized to decide whether an inmate has displayed sufficient good behavior to be granted early release.

The report said a total of 31 inmates in the region were denied parole in the period covered.

Turkey remains the leader in the number of prisoners in Europe, according to the 2022 Council of Europe Annual Penal Statistics on Prison Populations report. In January 2022 Turkey accounted for over a third of all prisoners in CoE member states and a surge of 369 percent in its prison population between 2005 and 2022.

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