Report confirms prisoners not given masks, gloves, disinfectant

The Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD) and MED Federation of Solidarity Associations with Families of Prisoners (MED-TUHAD FED) visited 12 prisons in the cities of Nortth Kurdistan amid the rapid spread of the coronavirus in Turkey and compiled a report to expose the situation and denounced that prisoners are not given masks and disinfectants.

The situation is particularly serious, said the lawyers who visited the prisons of Amed, Antep, Elazığ, Van, Ağrı and Erzurum, Elazig Women’s Closed, Elazig No 1, Elazig No 2, Diyarbakir Women’s Closed, Diyarbakir D Type, Van T Type, Van High Security, Van F Type, Antep H and L Type, Oltu T Type and Patnos L Type prisons.

Highlights from the report

Lawyers underlined that in Elazığ Women’s Closed, High Security Prison No 1 and 2, despite all warnings, healthcare workers, guards and soldiers were still acting in groups.

The report stated that disinfectant was given to the lawyers during the visits to the prisons in Elaziğ however, the guards were wearing gloves, but did not wear a mask.

“It was observed that the detainees who came to the visit did not wear gloves or masks, but it was seen that the personnel who brought them to the visit room wore both.”

The report also said that the disinfectant requested by prisoners in Elaziğ Prison was not provided by the administration.
Gloves and masks are not provided to prisoners in Diyarbakır Prison.

Guards and soldiers in Antep H and L Type Prison were acting in groups, the personnel making the registration process did not wear masks and gloves, and there were no disinfectants in the corridors and cells.

The report stated that disinfection procedures were carried out in Oltu T Type Prison.

It was emphasized that disinfectants, masks, gloves and cleaning materials were not provided in Van T, F and High Security and Patnos L Type Prison, electricity and water use, basic food needs were not provided free of charge, family visits and social activities were restricted due to the epidemic, and the wards were not disinfected.

Reccomendations

The report issued the following reccomendations:

  • While making amendments to the new law of execution, which is currently being discussed, prisoners should have the opportunity to benefit from health services in the country without discrimination due to their legal status and the risk groups should be released.
  • Judicial control provisions for those prisoners still under trial should be considered as priority and theirrelease should be ensured.
  • Hygiene conditions should be taken into consideration, and personal protective materials and cleaning materials should be provided free access, to all prisoners.
  • Considering the cancellation of visits, telephone rights should be increased and this application should be free.
  • Prisons should be disinfected with a certain routine.”