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Occupancy rate of Turkish prisons reaches 117 percent: ministry

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The occupancy rate of Turkish prisons has reached 117 percent, the Sözcü daily reported on Monday.

According to recent data released by Turkey’s Justice Ministry, the country’s 449 prisons, having a capacity of 211,274, are now holding 246,426 inmates.

A total of 48,924 inmates are either convicted or in pre-trial detention on terrorism charges, while 34,241 of them are accused of membership in the Gülen movement.

Turkish authorities accuse the Gülen movement of orchestrating a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, although the movement strongly denies any involvement.

After the foiled coup the Turkish government launched a crackdown on the movement’s followers, investigating some 400,000 people since then.

During an official visit to several Turkish prisons in December 2016, UN envoy Nils Melzer stated that they were “significantly overcrowded.”

Various international human rights organizations have also exposed conditions in Turkish prisons, stressing ill-treatment, abuse and lack of medical care.

Amnesty International reported abuse and torture cases especially after the coup.

In addition to terrorism suspects, Turkish jails host 55,000 people imprisoned on charges of drug use or trafficking, 40,000 on theft charges and 25,000 charged with murder.

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