Torture of Afrin prisoners

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  • 12:03 30 March 2023
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ANKARA - Nuray Çevirmen, Co-spokesperson of the IHD Prisons Commission, said: "The cases of torture and ill-treatment have increased in prisons located in the earthquake zone and Afrin prisoners are tortured with racist motives."
In the report prepared by the Human Rights Association (İHD) on rights violations following the earthquakes that took place in Mereş on February 6, it was pointed out that referrals, torture and ill-treatment of prisoners in prisons in the earthquake zone increased. According to the data of İHD; At least 41 prisoners were tortured and ill-treated in prisons located in the earthquake zone. According to the report, many prisoners were given disciplinary punishment for banging on the doors on the day of the earthquake.
A prisoner whom the İHD met in Samsun Kavak Type S Prison, to which he was transferred from Maraş Türkoğlu No. 1 Type L Prison, was tortured in Türkoğlu Prison, and although 11 days had passed, ecchymoses on his body and wounds on his mouth were clearly seen. In addition, it was recorded that a prisoner held in Hatay Type T Closed Prison was transferred to the prisons in Bandırma, Antalya and Bodrum, respectively, after the earthquake, and was beaten and tortured in every prison he was taken to.
Nuray Çevirmen, Co-spokesperson of the İHD Prisons Commission, made assessments on the violations of rights and torture practices in the prisons located in the earthquake zone.
Noting that the prisoners in the earthquake zone were transferred to various prisons and that they were subjected to torture and ill-treatment in the prisons they were in during and before the transfer, Çevirmen said: “Prisoners transferred from Türkoğlu Type L Prison were subjected to torture and ill-treatment due to the imposition of naked search in Samsun Kavak. 
Noting that the prisoners were held facing the wall in the ventilation for 22 hours in the cold without food or water, Çevirmen said: “They were subjected to torture and ill-treatment in this way, they were beaten constantly. They claim that when they were transfered on the 9th, they were also beaten while they were being executed. They state that even the director of the prison condemned this torture and ill-treatment. Despite this, the gendarmerie continued to torture and ill-treat."
Noting that they received applications regarding torture and ill-treatment after the earthquake from Hatay Prison, where there were no applications recently, Çevirmen said, “There is a policy of impunity in Turkey. In recent years, we have been passing through periods in which human life is ignored in Turkey. There are terrible cases of suspicious deaths, torture, ill-treatment, violation of the right to health, that is, the violation of the right to life in prisons. Those who hide behind this policy of impunity can easily inflict torture and ill-treatment. Because they don't consider it a crime." 
Pointing out that racist motives are effective in the fact that the majority of the prisoners who were tortured and ill-treated in Hatay are Kurds from Afrin, Çevirmen said: "Torture and ill-treatment are widespread in Turkey. When its prevalence is combined with racist motives, such terrible scenes emerge. You cannot protect your family, children, spouses, relatives. Therefore, the state has its own responsibility for torture and ill-treatment in prison. These cases inevitably arise when this responsibility is ignored and torture and ill-treatment are rewarded with impunity.”

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