Human Rights Association (IHD) Amed Branch has published the report of rights violations in Northern Kurdistan in 2018. The IHD pointed out that the State of Emergency has helped a transformation in government which “gradually move away from the democratic rule of law introducing political control of the judiciary.
This led to an increasing repressive form of government in Turkey which in turn led to a constant threat to freedom thought, expression and association.”
The IHD underlined the political genocide unleashed by the government against the HDP and added that the civilians were killed as a result of the attacks of the State forces and urged a return to negotiation to ensure the end of conflict.
The IHD stressed that 1154 prisoners suffered from some or another medical problem and that 402 are in serious conditions.
Isolation and hunger strikes
In its report the IHD dedicated a section to isolation in Imrali and to hunger strikes.
“Heavy isolation in Imralı High Security F Type Closed Prison – writes the report – continued to be applied during this period.
The failure of comply with visit rules applying to PKK leader, Abdullah Öcalan, who is a convicted prisoner, and the three other political prisoners in the same prison, is a violation of human rights. The prisoners are not allowed to meet with their families and lawyers. We would like to emphasize that these practices are not compatible with human rights understanding and humanitarian law, and we would like to recall that the Kurdish problem and the search for its solution are very serious. Political prisoners have gone on hunger strikes to protest the isolation policies applied in the prison of Imrali. Some of the prisoners have already reached a very critical stage in their health, in particular Leyla Güven, who has been fasting for 90 days.”
The report also underlined the violations of families’ rights to recover the bodies of their children or relatives who lost their life in clashes.
Some figures from the report are as follows:
Violations of the right to life
- Arbitrary killing, violations in use of weapons, Stop warning:
- 4 people were killed by security forces, 4 people were injured.
- 5 people were killed by village guards, three people were injured.
- 1 ill prisoner died. 1 prisoner died suspiciously in prison. 2 prisoners were injured.
- 2 people were killed in unsolved attacks, 6 people were injured.
- 11 people died as a result of official errors and negligence, 106 people were injured.
- 7 soldiers and police allegedly committed suicide and lost their lives.
- 1 political party executive and 1 doctor lost their life as a result of an attack, 1 teacher, 1 local administrator, 2 lawyers and 5 doctors were injured as a result of attack.
- One civilian citizen was killed and 3 civilians were injured in clashes.
- 2 children lost their lives as a result of mine explosion in the cities. A total of 6 people were injured, 2 of them children.
- 2 children, 1 woman and 1 man, were killed by unidentified persons.
- Violations in the conflict environment are as follows:
- In total, 46 special security zones were declared involving 16 regions and 6 cities.
- A total of 16 curfews were declared in total, affecting 565 villages / neighborhoods and 657 hamlets in 16 districts connected to these cities.
- During military operations and clashes, fire broke out in forests and farmland 5 times.
- The bodies of at least 3 militants who lost their lives were not delivered to the family.
- At least 5 times the grave / cemetery where militants of organization are buried were attacked or destroyed.
Violations of Women’s Rights:
- 11 women committed suicide and 4 women attempted suicide.
- 47 women were killed as a result of domestic violence, 30 women were injured.
- 3 women were sexually assaulted.
- 11 women were killed as a result of attacks while socialising and 9 women were wounded. 12 women were subjected to sexual assault, while 2 women were abducted. 8 women were forced to prostitution.
Violations of Children’s Rights:
- 3 children committed suicide and 4 children attempted suicide.
- 3 children were killed as a result of domestic violence, 7 children were injured, 10 children were exposed to sexual abuse.
- 4 children lost their lives as a result of attacks while socialising and 6 children were injured.
- 82 children suffered sexual abuse while 4 children were abducted.
- At least 17 people were subjected to torture and ill-treatment in custody.
- 83 people were subjected to torture and ill-treatment outside the places of detention (during street or house searches).
- 211 prisoners were tortured and ill-treated in prison.
- 20 people were subject to agencification impositions and 8 others were threatened.
- 9 people were injured or beaten during civil society demonstrations.
Violations of personal freedom and security
- 2,837 people were taken into custody, 54 of them children.
- 496 people were remanded in custody, 5 of them children.
- 2,368 houses were raided.
- Violations of Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Association
- One annual festival (Munzur Nature and Culture Festival) was banned.
- 3 issues of a newspaper and 12 books were seized.
- 1 publishing house, 1 news agency and 1 newspaper representative office (2 times) were raided.
- Access to internet news sites was limited 8 times.
- 77 people were investigated because of their thoughts. 19 investigation were opened on 91 people.
- A total of 684 people, including politicians, journalists and public workers, were handed down different prison sentences and fines.
- 18 political parties were attacked.
- Security forces intervened in 13 public demonstrations or open-air meetings.
- Meetings or demonstrations were banned in some cities indefinitely and in some cities the ban was renewed every month.
- In 2018, ban decision were issued 26 times.
Rights Violations in Prisons
- 165 prisoners were deported / transferred without justification.
- 183 prisoners have seen violation of their right to health.
- Meetings with families and 118 prisoners were hindered.
- At least 25 prisoners were subjected to isolation.
- An investigation was launched against at least 40 prisoners.
- 22 prisoners were denied the right to communicate.
- 18 prisoners were denied social rights.
Violations of Economic and Political Rights
- Work accidents resulting from precarious working conditions:
- 20 workers lost their lives, 12 workers were injured.
- 1,344 workers were dismissed.
- 200 workers could not get their salaries.
- 1 Municipality trustee and 259 mukhtars appointed by the Ministry of Interior was dismissed.”