Political prisoner threatened with death is denied release

Political prisoner Rojhat Bat, who was threatened with death by the chief guard in Diyarbakır D Type Prison before his forced transfer to Maraş-Türkoğlu L Type Prison No. 2, is not released even though his prison term is over.

The crackdown on political prisoners in Turkey continues and inmates who have completed their sentences are not released, in line with  the infamous measure of the Ministry of Justice to make the release of political prisoners dependent on a confession of remorse after they have served their prison sentence. There are many people in Turkish prisons whose regular prison term has long since expired and who are still not released because of their political views.

In recent years, the Administrative and Observation Board has been deciding whether to release prisoners or not. Prisoner Rojhat Bat, who received jail time after his arrest in 2017, is not released even though he has already served his prison term.


Bat was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in prison shortly after being arrested in January 2017. Sentenced for "membership in a terrorist organization", he remains in prison although he was supposed to be released on August 26. The political prisoner was transferred from Diyarbakır D-Type Prison to L-Type Prison No. 2 in the Türkoğlu district of Maraş on May 18, 2022. Speaking to his family, Bat reacted to the denial of his release.


The political prisoner stated that his lawyer's complaint about the obstruction of his release did not yield any results. “My lawyer's petition to the Maraş Judge of Execution was rejected. Another petition submitted to the Administrative and Observation Board was also rejected on the grounds that I had participated in activities that actually posed no problem for the prison administration. These activities generally included borrowing books from the library, participating in sports and social, cultural and artistic activities and getting certificates from workshops. My release is prevented on the grounds that I participated in these activities,” he said.

Bat called on the prison administration to put an end to the crackdown on prisoners and to release prisoners who have already served their sentences as soon as possible.


Prisoner Bat was threatened with death by the chief guard in the prison in April 2021 when he was held in the Diyarbakır D Type Prison.

Bat's older sister, Ronda Bat, conveyed her brother’s remarks in a phone call on April 29, 2021: “When I left the visiting room the previous day and went to the ward, there was an argument between my fellow prisoner and a guard. I intervened in the argument. Then the guards grabbed me and tried to cover my mouth with their hands to keep me quiet. Shortly after, the chief guard of the prison showed up and said to me, 'I know that you are Rojhat Bat, and you are a provocateur. You will die here'. He threatened me with death, saying that 'I will kill you; you will not get out of here alive'.”