Human Rights Association in Turkey exposes mistreatment of political prisoners, urges accountability and reform

ANKARA — The Human Rights Association (İHD) in Turkey has exposed the mistreatment of political prisoners within Turkish prisons, raising concerns at a time when the Turkish state is striving to mediate the release of prisoners it accuses of being affiliated with foreign terrorist groups.

The Turkish government is notorious for abusing anti-terrorism laws to target political opponents and journalists.

According to Medya News, İHD reported that 93 prisoners have died in Turkish prisons over the past two years.

Ahmet Çiçek, a representative of the Human Rights Association, emphasized the urgent need to address the government’s double standards in its treatment of prisoners. Çiçek pointed out that while the Turkish state mediates the release of members affiliated with Hezbollah, Turkish prisoners of conscience continue to suffer from severe illnesses while detained.

Data provided by İHD revealed that 73 prisoners died in 2022, with an additional 15 deaths recorded in the first five months of 2023. These deaths have been attributed to various factors, including limited access to healthcare. Moreover, some of the government coroner’s official reports on the cause of death have sparked controversy.

Presently, there are 1,517 sick prisoners in Turkish prisons, with 651 of them classified as seriously ill. Çiçek highlighted the issue of prisoners being denied transportation to hospitals via ambulance, which exacerbates their deteriorating conditions while incarcerated.

In response to these alarming circumstances, İHD intends to file a criminal complaint against those responsible. Their aim is to draw attention to the treatment of political prisoners, emphasizing the necessity of protecting their rights and well-being in accordance with national laws and international agreements.