Video recording shows inmate being mistreated and stripped naked in Turkish prison

A video recording of an inmate being mistreated and stripped naked in a maximum-security prison in western Turkey was revealed during court proceedings in 2022, the Birgün daily reported on Friday.

CCTV footage from June 4, 2015 was revealed during court proceedings in 2022, where the prison warden was accused of punching one of the female guards. Although the proceedings did not involve the mistreatment of the inmate, the footage also showed inmate Kibar K. being beaten by prison guards and her clothes being pulled off her body. The woman was then forced into solitary cell, called a “blue cell” or a “padded cell.” 

Padded cells previously came under scrutiny and were notoriously branded as “torture rooms.” Human rights activist and pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu previously submitted a parliamentary question regarding reports of torture in padded cells. He asked Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül if the ministry had any information on these cells and if there was an investigation into the guards in question.

Prison authorities had said the padded cells were for inmates with psychological issues so they would not harm themselves. Since the rooms were padded with foam, they provided sound isolation. Inmates have claimed that these rooms have been used for torture in recent years.

In the CCTV recordings Kibar K. is seen sitting naked in one corner of the cell. After some time, underwear is thrown into the cell, which the woman immediately grabs. Guards eventually throw more clothes into the cell, but they don’t belong to Kibar K., and she refuses to put them on. 

According to the prison guards, who recently testified in court, Kibar K. attacked them, and so they locked her in the cell to calm her down. The CCTV recordings show the inmate punching one of the guards and a struggle taking place. 

Prison warden Nedim T. told the judge he objected to the way the inmate was treated and ordered that she be given clothes.  

Ill-treatment and torture have become widespread and systematic in Turkish detention centers and prisons. Lack of condemnation from higher officials and a readiness to cover up allegations rather than investigate them have resulted in widespread impunity for the security forces.

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