Jailed OdaTV journalist Müyesser Yıldız's attorney said that they were worried about evidence tampering. Yıldız's lawyer said that the data collected from the journalist's home wasn't properly catalogued or recorded, which leaves them open to additions.
Inmates at southeastern Urfa prison have been reporting a serious shortage of cleaning supplies and a lack of precautions against COVID-19, a pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) deputy said. Prison guards also reportedly violate social distancing measures during their ward searches that they conduct in groups twice a week.
Filiz Gazi reports: A recent law, which passed in the parliament on April 14 supposedly for preventing the spread of coronavirus in prisons, is unconstitutional according to main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy İbrahim Kaboğlu, who also chairs the Constitutional Law Research Association. "Laws that grant amnesty are supposed to apply to political prisoners, while this law effectively does the opposite, and frees many of those guilty of standard criminal offenses," Kaboğlu says.
Turkey's main opposition CHP has made an application with the Constitutional Court for the annulment of the newly enacted prisoner release law – in regards to the law's form. The CHP says that the legal amendment is a “covert special amnesty,” which is why it requires the approval of at least three fifths of lawmakers in the parliament. In the upcoming days, the party will file a second application with the Constitutional Court in regards to the new law's substance, arguing that it is against the principle of equality for its exclusion of political prisoners.
Turkey's parliament discussed a prisoner release bill on April 7 which is set to free around 90,000 prisoners in total amid coronavirus outbreak. During the discussion, all deputies wore masks as a precautionary measure against the virus.
Former President Gül says early parole bill should include journalists, others jailed on ‘thought crimes’
Former President Abdullah Gül has said that prisoners who were jailed for their political views should also benefit from the government's early parole bill -- provided that these views have not been motivated by "hate, violence or terror."
A total of 302 writers, academics, journalists, scientists and rights activists have signed a declaration demanding that the government does not discriminate against political prisoners in its early parole bill. The legal amendment excludes inmates charged with terrorism – a charge which the government misuses for political ends. Jailed human rights activists, journalists and opposition politicians will therefore not be among those considered for early release.