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Human rights group’s prison report notes increase in torture allegations in central Turkey

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A growing number of inmates have been reporting torture and ill-treatment in prisons located in Central Anatolia, the Artı Gerçek news website reported on Wednesday, citing a report by Turkey’s Human Rights Association (İHD).

The report, which was released on the association’s website on Monday, focused on the situation in prisons located in the region during the last quarter of 2019 and was prepared based on inmates’ accounts to their lawyers and applications filed with the association as well as letters sent from prison.

The prisoners said they were subjected to physical and verbal abuse and that strip searches amounted to harassment.

Nurullah Semo, an inmate in a prison in Bolu province, said he was repeatedly subjected to torture in a strip search room and that the doctors filed no reports despite his requests.

The report noted that the complaints failed to lead to effective investigations.

Of the 73 applications sent to İHD over the course of three months, many of them concerned deprivation of the right to medical treatment, the report said.

The applications also included complaints about restrictions on books and other publications, the blocking of letters, the denial of radios bought from the prison’s own canteen and the inadequacy of food served to inmates.

Another problem highlighted by the report was the fact that some of the inmates were being held in prisons located at a considerable distance from family members.

Halil Dağ, one of the inmates, said that of the last 26 years he has been in prison, he spent 24 years of it hundreds of kilometers from his family. Dağ also said that at the time his father passed away, he had not seen him for nearly five years.

The report called on Turkey’s Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health and the Turkish Parliament’s Human Rights Investigation Commission to take action on the allegations.

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