The Human Rights Association (IHD) Central Prisons Commission released a report called “Ongoing Hunger Strike Detection and Evaluation Report on Turkey’s prisons”.
The report was presented by the members of the Commission at a press conference held at the headquarters of the association joined by the IHD co-chair Öztürk Türkdoğan.
Member of the Commission Ilhan Öngör said that they visited the prisons regularly to monitor the hunger strikers, ensure that the basic medical care was granted.
Öngür warned that HDP Hakkari MP Leyla Güven has reached a critical stage and her life is seriously in danger.
The report on the prisons where hunger strikes continue contained the following details:
Bakırköy Women’s Closed Prison : Prison guards are reported to insult prisoners on hunger strike sating that they are not in fact fasting and have not lost weight. Prisoners on hunger strike have been given only B vitamin complexes but not B1 and are experiencing quick weight loss and have difficulties in communicating with health officials.
Bandırma T1 Number Closed Prison: Prisoners who have been on hunger strikes since January 2019 receive salt and sugar, but B1 vitamins are not given, B vitamin complex is given, but carbonate is not given. Doctors do not examined prisoners as they refused to go to the infirmary.
Bandırma T2 Number Closed Prison: Prisoners who have been on hunger strike since January 2019 receive daily salt and sugar.One tablet of B12 is taken a day, while carbonate is not given, blood pressure is taken occasionally and prisoners are reporting weakness, occasional elevation of body temperature, intestine problems, stomach and headaches and discomfort in eyes.
Düzce T Type Closed Prison: Although the daily weight and blood pressure measurements of the prisoners on hunger strikes are done by the nurse, medical examination was not done, B1 vitamins were not given in the first two weeks. One prisoner was transferred in isolation cell.
Edirne F Type Closed Prison: B vitamins is given with difficulty to prisoners who were on hunger strike, no medical examination was carried out, blood pressure measurements were made by the health personnel, and the hunger strike monitoring form which was arranged in the meeting with lawyers was not returned.
Tekirdağ No 1 F-Type Prison: It was stated that the prisoners who were on hunger strike did not accept to go to the infirmary, thus medical check were not done. Prisoners were finally given vitamin B12 and a disciplinary investigation was opened against hunger strikers.
Tekirdağ Type 2 F Type Closed Prison: Prisoners who are on hunger strike are given weight measurement every day, B vitamins are given, but request to go to the barber are rejected. Disciplinary investigations are opened because of going on hunger strike, letters sent to national and international institutions have been confiscated.
Tekirdağ Type 1 and No. 2 T-Type Prison: It was stated that the prisoners who were on hunger strike did not accept to go to the infirmary, thus health check were not done by the doctor. Prisoners were finally given vitamin B12 and a disciplinary investigation was opened against hunger strikers.
Gebze Women’s Closed Prison: Hacer Halil Yusuf and Ruşen Bozan reported wounds and skin dryness in their mouths, were treated with medication by the doctor, every day health check was done but sugar control and blood analysis were not included in this control. It is stated that prisoners who are on strike are told that if the action continues guards will intervene.
Bolu F Type Closed Prison: Weight and blood pressure controls are not made. B1 and B complex vitamins were not given.
Maltepe No. 1 Closed and No. 2 Prison: Prisoners who are on hunger strike are regularly given carbonate and vitamin B complex, weight, blood pressure and sugar measurement are done in infirmary every day, disciplinary proceedings are opened against hunger strikers.
Kandıra No 1 Closed Prison:B complex vitamins were given to prisoners on hunger strike 10 days after they began the action. Carbonate was not given. Ibrahim Kaya, who has been on hunger strike for a long time, has lost 10 pounds and experienced serious health problems.
Osmaniye 1st and 2nd T Type Closed Prison:Prisoners who were on hunger strike did not accepted to go to the infirmary, investigation against hunger strikers have been opened.
Kürkçüler F-Type Closed Prison:One prisoner (Inan Akın) is on indefinite hunger strike. He does not accept to go to the infirmary thus examination is not done. Necessary water, salt, sugar, carbonate and B vitamins are given to him, and medical checks are made every two or three days.
Ceyhan M Type Closed Prison:Two prisoners on hunger strikes received B vitamins, had health checks, but were not regularly examined by the infirmary doctor, and the health officers checked them every two days.
Tarsus No 1 T-Type Closed Prison:10 prisoners who are on hunger strike are placed in the same ward. Health checks are not regular. B vitamins are given, dizziness, insomnia problems are experienced. Disciplinary punishment have been handed out to prisoners.
Tarsus No. 2 T-Type Closed Prison:Prisoners who were on hunger strike were examined in the corridor and while standing. The administration gave insufficient amounts of salt, sugar and vitamins.
Tarsus Women’s Closed Prison:Four women prisoners who have been on hunger strikes since 5 January 2019 have said that the prison administration tries to persuade them to give up their hunger strike and that they have health problems such as fatigue, bruising on the fingers, facial yellowing and weight loss.
Alanya L Type Closed Prison:Prisoners who have been on hunger strikes since 5 January 2019 have been disciplinary punished for 1 month. Health checks are not carried out regularly.
CENTRAL ANATOLIA REGION
Sincan Women’s Closed Prison:3 female prisoners who have been on hunger strike since 26 December 2018, were able to take B complexes on the 4th day of fast. They take two tablets a day, they have health problems such as weight loss, chills, headache, weakness and low blood pressure. Daily blood pressure, pulse, weight measurements were made in the ward.
Karabük T Type Closed Prison:3 prisoners who have been on hunger strike since 5 January 2019 have been given health checks every day, on a regular basis, B vitamin complexes are given and disciplinary investigation are opened.
Kırıkkale F-Type Closed Prison:6 prisoners on hunger strike since 26 December. Ismet Akin, because of the presence of open wounds, has a difficult health situation.
Tokat T Type Closed Prison:4 prisoners who have been on hunger strike since 5 January and have been taking B vitamins twice a day since day 12 of their fast. They experience loss of weight, and required health checks in the cell because they feel tired, but this was not accepted by the administration.
Kayseri T Type Closed Prison:5 hunger strikers are fasting since 5 January. They are suffering from hearing loss, weight loss, numbness in their arms and feet.
Ödemiş T Type Closed Prison:Prisoners who were on hunger strikes were given vitamin B1, were followed regularly by the prison administration, were suffering from sleep disturbance, severe headaches, and nausea.
Akhisar T Type Closed Prison:Prisoners who were on hunger strike were given lemon, sugary water, salt and vitamin B12, no carbonate was given, disciplinary punishment was handed out. No regular check was carried out by the health officer and doctor.
Manisa T Type Closed Prison:Prisoners who were on hunger strike were not given carbonate and B vitamins, salt water and sugary water were prepared by the prison administration and given to prisoners, they were taken to the infirmary once a week, and the wards were not checked regularly.
Aliağa Şakran Prison:Three prisoners who have been on hunger strike since 29 January 2019 were taken to the daily infirmary, given B complex vitamins. They are suffering from weight loss, headache, nausea.
Buca Type 1 and No. 2 Prison:The prisoners had not used the carbonate, and the strikers had been banned from conversation and other social activities for 3 months.
Balıkesir Kepsut L Type Closed Prison:4 prisoners who have been on hunger strike since 18 January were given water, sugar, vitamin B12, but carbonate was not given on the grounds that there was no carbonate in the canteen. Blood pressure, sugar, heart rate and blood measurements were done in the infirmary, and the doctor made regular pulse and blood pressure measurements.
Burhaniye T Type Prison:There are two male prisoners who are on hunger strikes and they are given daily health checks in the infirmary, and vitamins, water, sugar and meals are given regularly.
Bandırma Type 1 and No. 2 Prison:It was stated that the prisoners in the hunger strike were called to the infirmary for the measurement of blood pressure, but did not accept to go.
Urfa 1 and 2 T Type Closed Prison:On 5 January 2019, 6 prisoners of type T no. 2 had gone on indefinite hunger strike. On the 6th of January 2019, 5 persons in No. 1 T type have gone n indefinite hunger strike. Vitamin B1 has not been given by the Administration.
Diyarbakir D and E Type Prisons:Indefinite hunger strikes have been continuing since 16 December. Prisoners do not accept medical intervention. They take salt and sugary water, take one vitamin B12 daily, clean water is not provided, therefore they have to use tap water.
Van High Security Closed Prison:The health control was made on control day, but there was no health worker at the weekend. Salt, sugar, vitamin B12 were given daily, the prison administration was insulting prisoner.The prisoners have suffering from weight loss, started to smell and lost sight, fever, stomach and headache.
Şirnak T Type Closed Prison:The prisoners who have been on hunger strike since 16 January suffered from tension and dizziness problems. They were able to take vitamins from the 11th day of fast, and from the 10th day they were checked by the health officers. Three of the prisoners who started on 31 January were given vitamins.
Mardin E Type Closed Prison:8 prisoners who have been on hunger strike since 5 January 2019, were kept in the same ward, were given health checks under the supervision of a doctor and a health officer once a day, were given B1 vitamins and were denied the right to social activities due to hunger strike. Some prisoners suffered from excessive weight loss.
Malatya E Type Prison:4 prisoners are on hunger strike. They take salt and sugar, they are not given vitamins, health problems.
Findings and requests:
The report stated that following visits to prisons were made:
“* In many prisons, those who are on hunger strikes are still not seen by infirmary doctors,
- Only the blood pressure and weight measurement are made to hunger strikers, blood tests and body temperature etc. that the measurements were not made,
- The health status of hunger strikers should be monitored on a daily basis, while in many prisons every 2 or 3 days these checks are carried out, especially on week-end health officers do not perform routine checks.
- Prisoners who are on hunger strike are given food as salt, lemon and sugar as a food substitute. The hunger strikers were forced to buy the juices and other beverages.
- In many prisons, enough vitamin B1 complex is given, but there is lack of B vitamin.
- Despite the long-standing hunger strike, the majority of the prisoners have not been informed by doctors on what is necessary to do.
- Due to hunger strikes, disciplinary investigations have been opened and many hunger strikers have been given disciplinary penalties. Prisoners are put in isolation.
- The letters and faxes sent by the hunger strikers to the public to inform about their health conditions and demands are confiscated,
- A lot of hunger strikers suffered from weakness, stomach and headaches, insomnia, skin dryness, bleeding and softening of the gums, sensitivity to light and sound, discomfort to smell, sight and hearing loss.
- It has been established that in some prisons officers are insulting and degrading prisoners.
The demands in the report are as follows:
- Hunger strikers should be provided with a minimum of 5 large cups of water, 2 teaspoons of salt, 5 tablespoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of carbonate and 500 mg of vitamin B1.
- During the hunger strike, the health risks for hunger strikers should be eliminated. Cleanliness and hygiene must be ensured, and they must be kept in a warm and humid environment without being subjected to excessive physical activity.
- The hunger strikers should be informed about how they will continue to use drugs for previous diseases.
- The necessary information and facilities should be provided to those helping the hunger strikers. For this reason, an information note called ’Issues to be considered during the hunger strike’ has been prepared by the Turkish Medical Association and should be communicated to the people looking after the hunger strikers and those who are on hunger strikes.
- People should be kept under the supervision of the doctor who should inform the hunger strikers on their health constantly.
In the conclusion part of the report, the IHD stressed that isolation is an open violation of the right to life.
What is demanded is not the amendment of any antidemocratic legislation, but the application of the legal rights granted to prisoners. The primary requirement of being a state of law is that the administration, the executive, the power complies with these laws.
The report said that the Kurdish issue can be solved by “democratic and peaceful means but for this it is important to create a democratic political space, the removal of the isolation on Abdullah Öcalan in accordance with the current legal legislation, the existence of a legal system based on free and fair human rights.”
The report ended with the following call: “All national and international community institutions, especially the Ministry of Justice, should end the rights violations in prisons with the adoption of reasonable and legal regulations for the protection of the right of life of hunger strikers.
We urge everyone to take immediate action, to be sensitive.”