State of Emergency in prison while no precautions taken

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İZMİR - Noting that the violations of rights have increased in prisons during the outbreak, ÖHD lawyer Şükran Öztürk said: "The prisons are isolated from society, not from the virus."

Prisons are among the most risky areas threatened by the coronavirus (Kovid-19) outbreak. In this context, the Ministry of Justice recently announced that on April 28, 120 detainees and convicts have been infected with the coronavirus and 3 convicts have lost their lives.  The Bakırköy Chief Public Prosecutor's Office also announced on May 8 that the coronavirus test of 44 detainees and convicts was positive in Silivri.
 
Pointing out the increase in rights violations in prisons during this period, Şükran Öztürk, one of the lawyers of the İzmir Branch of Lawyers Association for Freedom (ÖHD), said that prisons were isolated from the society. Stating that precautions are being taken following de declaration of pandemic, Öztürk said that European Committee for the Prevention of Torture has suggested an early release or probation from prisons as a precaution. Stating that Turkey have enacted the new law on execution, Öztürk said: "But there were no precautions against the virus in the law. A lot of crimes were excluded. Politicians, journalists, academicians and lawyers remain in prison."
 
VIOLATIONS IF RIGHTS INCREASED
 
Öztürk sharing her observations about the prisons she visited during the outbreak said: "We went to Manisa Prison to observe and interview about the long held pressure on political prisoners on March 10. What I saw was a State of Emergency rather than precautions for the virus. We were thrown out of the prison by the guards and weren't allowed to see our clients directly. This indicates that the pressure on political prisoners have increased after the outbreak." 
 
Stating that they were able to recieve information from the relatives of the prisoners in this period said that the hygiene conditions were not met and food that strengthen the immune system were not provided for the prisoners. Öztürk said: "We receive applications and information from families about many violations of rights. However, it is not possible for us to reach out to the prison administration or prison prosecutors to verify or make legal applications. We are completely left without interlocuters. The prisons are isolated from society, not from the virus."
 
MA / Sevda Aydın

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