Lawyer Binbir: Prisoners are not released by arbitrary decisions

Zeki Binbir, Co-spokesperson of the Prison Commission of the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD), said that political prisoners who have been imprisoned for 30 years are not released due to arbitrary decisions.


Every day new ones are added to the rights violations, oppression and arbitrary practices of the Turkish state against prisoners. Lawyer Zeki Binbir stated that nearly 400 prisoners’ right to conditional release of has been cancelled on arbitrary grounds.

Speaking to ANF, Zeki Binbir, Co-spokesperson of the Prison Commission of the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD), said: "Political prisoners are being prevented by the judiciary. This obstacle is being imposed by the 'Administrative Observation Board', which came into force in 2020. First of all, we need to discuss the execution law. The execution law has been amended 32 times since the day it entered into force, and no stability has been achieved. With the amendment made in March 2020, prison administrations were given wide powers. With this authority, it was ensured that releases were postponed based on completely arbitrary statements against the persons who had completed their sentence. As an association, we have worked on this issue. Until today, the right to conditional release of nearly 400 prisoners has been cancelled on arbitrary grounds."


Binbir stated that the prison administration imposed 'remorse' on prisoners and continued: "There is very intense pressure from the prison administration on this issue. It is especially used against prisoners of 30 years. The releases of prisoners are postponed by making abstract statements, which are not permitted in the Turkish Constitution and any of the laws, the subject of accusation. The decisions are absolutely against the constitution. Unfortunately, the families of the prisoners are also affected by this situation. Either the day before their release or the day of their release, their execution is postponed for six or three months by the decision of the Administrative Observation Board."


Stating that political prisoners who have been imprisoned for 30 years for political reasons are not released, Binbir said: "We know very well that this practice is against the gains of the Kurds. We see this discrimination only in the case of political prisoners. The best example of this is Ogün Samast. He was granted good conduct and released, but political prisoners who have no disciplinary penalties and have not committed any crime are prevented from being released. We consider this as a purely political point of view. Unfortunately, the laws are not applied equally."


Zeki Binbir said that as the ÖHD they are working intensively on the prisoners whose release has been postponed and added the following: "As lawyers, we are following this matter. We are starting our objections and legal processes based on the decisions and documents we receive. Currently, all political prisoners in Turkey are subjected to many rights violations in prisons. The right to life and health in particular are violated. Prisoners are struggling for life. The problems in prisons continue to increase day by day."