Turkey-based rights group received 155 complaints from high-security prisons in past 20 months: report

The Human Rights Association (İHD) has announced in a new report that in all of 2022 and the first eight months of 2023 it received a total of 155 complaints from inmates held in 19 high-security prisons about rights violations that occurred behind bars, the Artı Gerçek news website reported on Friday.

The complaints concerned mistreatment, arbitrary or disproportionate disciplinary sanctions, rear-handcuffing, strip-searches and bans on publications that inmates are allowed to have in their possession.

The report said a significant proportion of prisoners are being held in one-person cells, including many who are sick or disabled.

The İHD also highlighted the poor conditions of wards, such as the wire screens placed on the windows, which prevent inmates from looking outside, and the arbitrary restrictions imposed on the print and broadcast media.

“TV channels are made available based not on the prisoners’ preferences but in line with the administration’s will,” said Nuray Çevirmen, an İHD executive who introduced the report at a press conference. “Pro-opposition channels such as Halk TV, Artı TV and Tele 1 are not allowed despite the prisoners’ requests.”

The prison administrations also refuse to deliver government-critical newspapers such as Yeni Yaşam and Evrensel and impose arbitrary restrictions on the number of books that inmates can have.

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