No timetable for problem of prisoners from Minister of Justice

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ŞIRNEX- DEM Party member Newroz Uysal Aslan, who attended the meeting of the prisoners' relatives with the Minister of Justice Yılmaz Tunç, said that the Minister did not give any timetable for the solution of the problems.

The hunger strike, which started on November 27, 2023, within the scope of the "Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, democratic solution to the Kurdish issue" campaign, continues since April 4, with a court boycott and an action of not attending family and phone calls. Outside, relatives of prisoners go to the Ministry of Justice every Wednesday from different cities and convey the demands of the prisoners. In this context, Peoples' Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) Deputy and Parliamentary Human Rights Commission Member Newroz Uysal Aslan was with the relatives of the prisoners who met with the Minister of Justice Yılmaz Tunç on June 12, evaluated both the meeting and the violations in prisons.
 
Saying that the problems in prisons are not new and parallel to the political climate in Turkey, Uysal pointed out the impact of the attitude towards PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan on the redesign of the system. Listing the torture and ill-treatment in prisons, Uysal said: "After Mr. Öcalan was brought to Turkey with a conspiracy in 1999, there is a political mind that is trying to be spread in Imralıiand other prisons with legal regulations in order to legitimize the isolation system designed in Imrali. This mind is applying the version of isolation and torture that is currently being experienced in Imrali and has been applied for nearly 26 years to other prisons. Transfer to single rooms, isolation, solitary confinement, arbitrary disciplinary punishments, prohibition of connections with the outside world, difficulties in accessing health, oral searches, strip searches, handcuffed examinations are all implemented in prisons, just like the surrender of Mr. Öcalan's will in Imrali. We can express the situation in Turkish prisons as a politically arbitrary system that is far from human rights, humanitarian, conscientious and moral conditions."
 
DEM Parti Deputy Newroz Uysal Aslan
 
PROBLEM OF SICK PRISONERS
 
"The source of the rights violations in prisons is the isolation system in Imrali" said Uysal, emphasizing that one of the biggest problems in prisons is the problem of "ill prisoners". 
 
Uysal said that the Forensic Medicine Institute (ATK) was presented to them as a compulsory authority for the release of patients, and noted that if the reports received by ATK were not approved by ATK, it was not possible for ill prisoners to be released from prisons. Uysal continued: "Ill prisoners must be released without any buts or buts, taking into account their health conditions. However, in the past, especially in the solution processes, the state used ill prisoners as a tool of blackmail, or perceived a special war in order to impose acceptance and submission on the society through this torture. This is a very dangerous and unconscionable practice, but it is the most common practice carried out by the state."
 
Providing information about those who lost their lives in prisons, "42 people lost their lives in prison in 2023. We are in 2024 and 23 people have lost their lives so far. We call this political murder. These are murders because they lost their lives as a result of the state's policy. For example, ATK told Şakir Turan that he could stay in prison and he died 15 days later. Or there are those who said they could not stay in prison and died a week and 15 days after being released from prison. These are not coincidental things. The state needs to give up this situation where it tries to benefit politically from ill prisoners" Uysal said.
 
ADMINISTRATIVE AND OBSERVATION BOARD DECISIONS
 
Stating that the government issued the Administration and Observation Board Regulation in 2021 to prevent the conditional release of prisoners, Uysal said: "This is a danger for political prisoners. Problems that were seen as risks since the day these boards were established have become reality. Currently, in prisons such as Sincan, Bolu and Karabük, which have become symbols in many prisons, people whose sentences have expired and who have not been granted probation and whose conditional release date has reached the board decide that they are not of good behavior and are not released for 3, 4 months or even a year. In fact, political prisoners are held in prison more often than other convicts. 3/4 of their sentences are paid, but these periods are further extended by these committees. The decision made by the boards is whatever the prosecutor and prison director say. In these committees, the prisoners were asked, 'What will you say to the DEM Party deputies if they come to meet you?' It prevents the conditional release of some people because they read too many books. In the current process, these boards have turned into torture and torment boards. It aims to prevent the release of political prisoners. 90 percent of the objections made on this issue are returned. Because the decisions taken are completely arbitrary and have no legal aspect. An application was made to the Constitutional Court for the annulment of the regulation, but they are not examining this objection."
 
MEETING WILL BE HELD AGAIN
 
Stating that a meeting was held with the Minister of Justice Yılmaz Tunç due to the struggle of the prisoners in prisons and their families outside, Uysal explained the following about that meeting: "One of the main interlocutors of these torture policies carried out in prisons is the Ministry of Justice. Both because it is the authority legally responsible for this and because it is the first-degree legal addressee of the isolation imposed on Mr. Öcalan. Mothers have been trying to make their voices heard by making a statement in front of the Ministry of Justice every Wednesday for 6 weeks. Mothers come from different cities every week. Until the 6th week, the Ministry of Justice refused to meet with the mothers. He prevented the mothers' statement in front of the Ministry of Justice. The Human Rights Inquiry Commission had convened to discuss an issue regarding ill prisoners. Mothers also gathered at the place where the commission meeting was held. Later, a request for a meeting came from the Minister of Justice. The chair of the Human Rights Commission, the chair of the Detainee and Convict Rights Investigation Sub-Commission, other deputies and us were present at the meeting. This meeting was a 15-20 minute meeting. Families stated that the isolation in prisons, that their children were under torture, that their freedom was taken by board decisions, and that ill prisoners are not treated, and asked why the ministry did not fulfill its responsibilities. Families conveyed some of their demands. The Ministry, on the other hand, did not give any timetable for the solution of the problems in a classical bureaucratic style, noting the demands of the families. Both we and they stated that this meeting with the mothers was very short. We made an appointment to meet again in more detail on the Wednesday after the holiday."
 
'ISOLATION MUST BE GIVEN UP FOR A SOLUTION'
 
Uysal, who found the meeting important but found it insufficient in terms of concrete steps and said: "This meeting itself is also very important, but it must be said that we observed that both committee chairs responsible for the issue in the Parliament refrained from saying anything concrete and avoided saying anything about the solution. We will follow this process. This issue is not something that can be resolved with a meeting, but this was a step. We think that a process that notes the sensitivity or situation there should have been completed long ago. This process is not a singular, specific issue that arises suddenly, but an issue that emerges as a state policy. At this point, a political change and an analytical mind are needed."
 
MA / Ömer Akın
 

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