Turkey top incarcerator among Council of Europe member states

According to the Council of Europe’s Annual Penal Statistics, Turkey has an incarceration rate of 357.2 inmates per 100,000 inhabitants, marking the highest rate among member states. The country has also Europe's second largest prison population, at 297,019, after Russia.

A Turkish Gendarmerie officer stands guard outside a prison in this file photo.

Duvar English

Turkey has the highest incarceration rate among Council of Europe members states, with a rate of 357.2 inmates per 100,000 inhabitants, according to a report of the international body.

Turkey was followed by Russia (356 inmates per 100,000 inhabitants), Georgia (264), Lithuania (220) Azerbaijan (209), Czech Republic (197), Poland (195), Slovak Republic (193) and Estonia (184), according to the Council of Europe’s Annual Penal Statistics on Prison Populations for 2020.

The figures were valid as of Jan. 31, 2020.

Turkey's imprisonment rate has registered a shocking 115.3 percent increase in the last 10 years, as it had stood at 165.9 in 2010.

After Russia, Turkey has the highest prison population with 297,019 inmates (including pre-trial detainees), according to the report.

The report also shared the figures on prison density, which corresponds to the ratio between the number of inmates (including pre-trial detainees) and the number of places available in penal institutions.

Accordingly, overcrowding was most serious in Turkey (with 127 inmates per 100 available places), followed by Italy (120), Belgium (117), Cyprus (116), France (116), Hungary (113) Romania (113), Greece (109), Slovenia (109) and Serbia (107).

There are 30,524 prisoners convicted for terrorism offenses in the continent, a vast majority of them found in Turkey (29,827), followed by France and Spain.

A recent report released by Amnesty International says that Turkey's judiciary continues to apply broadly defined anti-terrorism laws to “punish acts protected under international human rights law.”

The rights organization says that Turkey represses and harasses NGOs, human rights defenders and dissenting voices, while fails to implement key European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judgments.