“There are 700 babies in [Turkish] prisons and they have been living in extremely poor conditions. Prisons are not for babies,” human rights activist and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu said during a press conference in parliament on Tuesday, the T24 news website reported.
He told reporters that he had submitted more than 200 complaints from inmates over human rights abuses to the parliament’s Human Rights Investigation Commission, of which he also is a member; however, in the three months since submission he has been unable to receive any answers.
After three months, he was told that a subcommittee should be formed to handle complaints from inmates.
Giving examples of human rights abuses committed in prisons Gergerlioğlu also stressed that even food served to the prisoners was unhygienic.
The number of babies and pregnant women in prisons surged after a foiled coup attempt in 2016, after which the Turkish government launched a crackdown on dissidents.
Accusing the Gülen movement of orchestrating the abortive putsch, the government declared followers of the movement terrorists, people from all walks of life including judges, shopkeepers, journalists, teachers, housewives and elderly people.
After a two-year-long state of emergency that was lifted in July, a new counterterrorism law was passed in parliament strengthening measures against terrorism suspects.
During the state of emergency the government dismissed some 140,000 public officials and investigated around 600,000 on charges of terrorism.