TUAY-DER warns of high risk in prisons as coronavirus spreads

TUAY-DER said that hygienic conditions are not guaranteed in prisons and that prisoners should be released immediately due to the coronavirus emergency.

The Association for Assistance to Prisoners' Families (TUAY-DER) issued a written statement today in response to the Turkish Minister of Health's failure to provide information about prisons in the face of the growing threat of coronavirus pandemic.

The statement said that the ill prisoners are at great risk. "There are 1300 ill prisoners and 450 of them have serious health issues," reminded the statement adding: "Semire Direkçi, a female prisoner, is being held in Diyarbakır prison and has been operated in June 2019. She has been living for 9 months in the most unhealthy conditions. Likewise, Mehmet Emin Özkan is almost 80 and is in Diyarbakır D Type Prison. He has been in prison for 27 years and has a severe heart condition. Halil Güneş, also held in Diyarbakır D Type Prison suffers from epilepsy and liver disease."

TUAY-DER said: "We are worried about the health and safety of prisoners. We have a hard time struggling with this virus in free conditions, so people can just imagine what it is to deal with this threat in prisons, where kitchens, bathrooms, toilets, beds do not respond to the basic hygienic standards. We call on the Minister of Health to consider the issue and release the prisoners."