Duvar English 

The Van branch of the Human Rights Association (İHD) has determined that three penal facilities in the eastern province are guilty of numerous rights violations.

According to the association’s report that was compiled following interviews with prisoners in each facility, the precautions and measures taken against the coronavirus epidemic by the prisons are insufficient and the authorities deny basic healthcare rights to prisoners, forcing some to undergo 15-day quarantines even when they have the right to seek treatment, resulting in other prisoners relinquishing their right to treatment in order to avoid quarantine.  

Cleaning materials were found to be limited and insufficient while prisoners were only able to access gloves, masks, disinfectant and wet napkins by purchasing them at high prices. 

Prisoners have also been deprived of their right to receive newspapers, magazines, books and other materials that they have either requested or which have arrived in the mail, and the administration has not given any reason for this, according to the report. Prison authorities have also prohibited sports, conversation and other activities. 

The report concluded that the Van penal facilities have de facto suspended that rights which are upheld by the law and the constitution, and that this has been a source of concern for the prisoners, their loved ones and human rights advocates.