IHD reiterates that ill prisoners must be released immediately

“As seriously ill prisoners face a much more serious risk in case of an epidemic disease, we request their release by deferring the execution of their prison sentences,” said the IHD in a statement.

The Human Rights Association (IHD) said that there are 1,564 ill prisoners in Turkey, 591 of them in serious condition. However, the association added that these are the cases they have been able to record, therefore the number is certainly higher.

The IHD said that necessary and urgent measures need to be taken in prisons as the coronavirus crisis is getting worse by the day.

According to the updated version of the “Seriously Ill and Ill Prisoner List” kept by the IHD Central Prison Committee, there are 1,564 ill prisoners in Turkish jails, 591 of them in serious conditions.

“As seriously ill prisoners face a much more serious risk in case of an epidemic disease, we request their release by deferring the execution of their prison sentences,” said the IHD in a statement.

The IHD added: “The amendment to the law on criminal execution which has been long on the agenda of the government must be introduced in accordance with the principle of equality when it comes to release prisoners. The new amendment must include regulations that will ensure the release of all disadvantaged groups, especially ill prisoners, at the earliest time.”

The IHD has listed the necessary measures to be taken immediately as follows:

  • All seriously ill prisoners must be immediately released following a report issued by any well-equipped hospital. Their treatment must be followed by families and their health insurance must be paid by the state;
  • The Forensic Medical Institution can no longer be the sole and final authority to issue reports for deferment of execution due to health;
  • The discretionary power of public prosecutors in ruling for the deferment of execution must be abolished and the execution of sentences must be deferred based on the medical reports issued by hospitals;
  • The concept of ‘posing threat to social security’ which stands in the way of the release of ill prisoners must be removed;
  • The circular governing the President’s authority to release prisoners for health reasons must be amended, the Forensic Medical Institution can no longer be the sole determinant authority and the President must use his authority for seriously ill prisoners without making any exceptions.