ÖHD and TUHAY-DER say rights are violated in Diyarbakır Women's Closed Prison

ÖHD and TUHAY-DER said that due to the attitude of the prison administration in Diyarbakır Women's Closed Prison, prisoners' right to health is prevented, and rights violations occurred every day, putting the life of prisoners at risk.

The Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD) Diyarbakır Branch and the Association for Assistance and Solidarity with the Families of Detainees and Convicts (TUHAY-DER) issued a written statement regarding the increasing Covid cases in Diyarbakır Women's Closed Prison and the violations of the prisoners’ right to health.

ÖHD and TUHAY-DER visited Diyarbakır Women's Closed Prison on different dates and said in a statement that during these visits, most of the detainees tested positive for coronavirus but were prevented from access to health services. The statement said: “Covid cases started to increase in Diyarbakır Women's Closed Prison between 9 and 17 July, which coincided with the Feast of Sacrifice. Some prisoners, including ill prisoners suffering from hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and chronic lung diseases, were taken to the quarantine ward. During the quarantine period, prisoners were not staying in a suitable environment and could not see their lawyers until they tested negative.”

Covid quarantine turned into torture

The statement added: “Covid tests, which should be done in the infirmary inside the prison, were done in the ring vehicles in the prison garden during the feast holiday. Prisoners were kept in the vehicle waiting for the test at a temperature of over 40 degrees. We have been informed that even the serum to treat prisoners with a severe Covid was given in the ring vehicles. Many prisoners passed out because of the heat and the long hours waiting to be tested. The Covid quarantine and testing process turned into torture for prisoners.”

Life are at risk

The statement underlined that the basic needs of the detainees kept in the quarantine ward due to the coronavirus were not met while the canteen remained closed during the Feast holiday. "The prisoners' right to health has been violated. – the statement said – Prisoners said that only one mask was given to those who were staying with positive prisoners in the wards. In addition to the violations of rights conveyed to us by the prisoners, we also observed that the guards who brought the prisoners to and from them for visits did not wear masks. We can state that the life of prisoners is at risk as a result of inadequate precautions and negligence.”

Supervision needed

The statement said that supervision was needed and invited “the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health and the Parliamentary Human Rights Investigation Commission to take action against the violations of rights in Diyarbakır Women's Closed Prison.”