ÖHD: Human rights violations in the prisons of Aegean region increasing

The ÖHD Izmir Branch Prison Commission published a report on human rights violations in the Aegean region's prisons. The report stressed that isolation was increasing.

A report was prepared by the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD) Izmir Branch Prison Commission following its interviews with political prisoners in 17 prisons in the provinces of Izmir, Denizli, Muğla and Balıkesir.

The report was presented at a press conference attended by ÖHD Izmir Branch co-chair Özcan Sarıoğlu and a number of other lawyers.

Prison Commission co-spokesperson Eylem Zengin said that the report showed that no steps were taken for ill prisoners. Zengin pointed out that both examination and treatment of ill prisoners were prevented by the prison administration and added that insufficient examinations were carried out in the hospitals to which the prisoners were transferred and that handcuffed examination was imposed.

Zengin said that the rights violations suffered by prisoners "increased" and pointed to the "violations of the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment." Zengin added that the policy of dispersion, by which prisoners are sent to jails far from their families, meant that families have to travel long distances for visits.

The report also pointed out that prison administrations took arbitrary decisions by putting themselves in the position of the judiciary. In particular, issues such as the failed response to the petitions submitted by prisoners and the arbitrary extension of conditional release dates were discussed in the report, which also said that "in the last few months, the release of prisoners whose conditional release date was reached has been constantly delayed on the grounds of lack of 'good behavior’. Obviously, prison administrations have begun to abuse the powers given to them by the new regulation."

The report also touched upon the severe isolation conditions imposed on prisoners held in Imralı F-Type High Security Prison, and called for the establishment of national and international control mechanisms. It emphasized that independent health committees should enter prisons and carry out inspections.

The report called for an end to the rights violations by the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Parliamentary Human Rights Investigation Commission and other relevant institutions and organizations.