IHD report on Urfa prisons

The Human Rights Association (IHD) held a press conference to present the report on the violation of rights in Urfa No.1 and No. 2 T Type Prisons. Urfa Medical Chamber and SES Urfa Branch also joined the press conference at the IHD offices.

IHD Urfa Branch acted upon a request by the families of prisoners at Urfa No. 1 and No. 2 T Type Closed Prison exposing ill-treatment suffered by prisoners.

The families also denounced the serious health problems suffered by some prisoners who are denied treatment.

IHD Urfa Branch Chair, Nahide Polat Aslan, said that they had identified serious violations of rights in the meetings they held with prisoners in September and October.

In the interviews conducted with the prisoners, the IHD confirmed that complaints were made on health conditions and non treatment by the prison authorities.

“Our delegation – said Aslan – has determined that the number of prisoners in custody is much higher than the capacity of both prisons. Our delegation established, from the consistent declarations of the prisoners, that when prisoners first enter the prison are strip-searched. If they protest they are met with threats and sometimes physical abuse.”

Health rights of prisoners who had to be treated immediately in hospitals had been violated many times, added the report.

It has been established that prisoners who are in need of hospital as their condition, although mild, contributes to the degeneration of their quality of life, have been prevented from reaching infirmary and hospitals arbitrarily.

Likewise, from the statements of the prisoners, it emerged that they were taken to hospital handcuffed and, if they did not accept it, they had to return to the prison without treatment.

During the meetings held by the delegation it has been determined that the cleaning and hygiene items which should be given free of charge are not given to prisoners who cannot carry out the cleaning of the environment they have to live in in accordance with the related regulations. Our delegation determined that prisoners privacy and rights have been violated by placing cameras in all the cells.

The delegation also established that in a hot climate like Urfa, especially in the summer months, almost every day there was water interruption and sometimes this water cut went on for days. This, said the IHD, affected the health of the prisoners seriously.

Food is not in compliance with the standards, the variety of products sold in the canteen is limited and expensive. Many restrictions are applied as to clothes and colours allowed, as well as magazines that are allowed into prisons.

All kinds of social and cultural activities and sports activities were prohibited, women prisoners staying with their children in prison had problems and the children could not get enough food and there were no hygiene conditions.

It has been established that some prisoners who are entitled to probation in accordance with the conditions stated in the law are prevented from using these rights and that some prisoners who have right to conditional release are deliberately punished in order to be deprived by their rights.

The IHD delegation said that violations of rights have increased with the new prison administrations. “We would also like to express our concern that this arbitrary and authoritarian approach could lead to the death of sick prisoners”, said the IHD at the press conference.

Speaking at the press conference, the President of the Chamber of Medicine of Urfa Omar Melik, said that they would also send a delegation to the prison.

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