Rejecting an amnesty for activists is angering Turkey and warning of the massacre


Source: Bandar Al-Doshi – Washington

The Turkish regime plans to release criminals and killers and keep writers, writers, and political and religious activists in the overcrowded cells to face death because of Corona, according to the British newspaper, The Guardian.

In an expanded report, the newspaper warned of a terrible massacre that would strike Turkish prisons if the virus spread inside overcrowded and dirty prisons.

Minus amnesty

Anger is increasing in Turkey as the government prepares to grant amnesty to up to a third of the country’s prison population to fight the Coronavirus epidemic, but imprisoned human rights activists, journalists, and opposition politicians will not be among those considered to be released at a time early.

The Turkish parliament discussed a legal amendment on Tuesday in order to grant 90,000 of the nearly 300,000 prisoners in the country eligible for house arrest or parole by reducing sentences for crimes that include murder and various crimes.

Perhaps the biggest concern is not who is allowed to leave prison, but who is not allowed to leave. While human rights groups have welcomed some new measures to keep prisoners safe from coronavirus, such as alternative prison or house arrest for those over 65, those with health conditions and female prisoners with young children, political prisoners and the book have been neglected The opponents very clearly.

Call for the release of activists

On Monday, Amnesty International along with 24 human rights organizations joined Turkish groups calling for the immediate release of journalists and other political prisoners, such as opposition leader Salahuddin Demirtaş and Mohsen Osman Kavala, who are currently being held under the notorious anti-terrorism legislation, and therefore do not include them. Release under the new terms.

The newspaper added that although there was almost complete closure of the fight against Covid-19, the number of confirmed cases in Turkey rose from 1872 a week ago to 13531 on Tuesday.

“Stirring anxiety and panic”

While Justice Minister Abdul Hamid Gul has so far insisted that the epidemic has not reached the overcrowded prison system in Turkey, Omar Faruk, a PDP politician and former doctor, examined hospitals and confirmed that at least one patient was examined and the result was positive. He was transferred for treatment from the Senkan prison in Ankara.

The Ankara prosecutor accused Omar Faruk of “stirring fear, fear and terror among the public,” and said an investigation had been opened into the accident.

“We have been campaigning to improve standards in prisons for a long time, and there are already many violations in terms of lack of access to health care, hygiene levels, infectious diseases, and people dying due to lack of treatment,” Omar Farooq told the Guardian newspaper. From questions to parliament about these cases, but our judicial system is broken. “

Overcrowded prisons and 100 new prisons

In recent years, Turkey has arrested thousands of academics, lawyers, journalists, civil servants, and members of the military, as Ankara claims they were part of the outlawed Gülen movement, which is blamed for a failed coup in 2016, Kurdish activists and politicians have been arrested, and Turkey claims they have Links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party. Many of them suffer from prolonged pre-trial detention. There are many prisoners. Indeed, in order to relieve pressure on the prison system, Ankara is planning to build 100 new prisons.

Imprisoned for his articles

Idris Salgan, a Kurdish journalist, was found guilty of terrorism-related charges after trying his only evidence for his articles, according to the Guardian. He spent more than three years in prison before being released in November last year.

“The overcrowded cells and the dirty conditions that he lived in, Moss I prison, and then Trabzon prison, if they spread krona, could kill many,” said the 29-year-old. He added, “I participated in Moss Prison in a seven-step cell with 14 other people. Some of the cells contained a larger number. There was only a bathroom for everyone.”

“In Trabzon, the cells were crowded: the Sylvan cell was for only four people, but it housed eight, so two people had to sleep on the floor. The low quality of food and unsanitary conditions for him caused him several diseases, where prisoners have to buy Their cleaning products. ”

He added: “It is impossible to carry out social exclusion or to practice good hygiene in such circumstances. If the coronavirus circulates in prisons, it will be a massacre.”

Conditions may be on the verge of worsening: recent news articles have indicated that prisoners in Turkey are now forced to pay 17 pounds (2.09 pounds) in exchange for masks for their faces. As part of measures of social exclusion, visits to family members have been suspended, and lawyers are now permitted to visit their clients only with the permission of the Prosecutor.

Imprisoning someone who talks about the virus

According to the report, the Corona virus appears to exacerbate the Turkish freedom of expression crisis, which led to the imprisonment of many of them in the first place. Reporters Without Borders said that seven journalists were arrested because of their reports of the epidemic and charged with “spreading panic”, and 385 people are being investigated for critical publications on social media.

During the crisis, the government also found time to arrest five other HDP mayors in southeast Turkey, who are likely to be replaced by unelected pro-government secretaries.

“This position clearly shows the government’s intentions: ordinary criminals will be released but political prisoners will remain behind bars,” said Vesel Oak, co-director of the Society for Media and Legal Studies, a non-profit legal advocacy group for human rights. This move (the decision not to release political prisoners) at this time, in a way, is equivalent to a death sentence. ”


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