62 sentenced to 5 years in Diyarbakır prison case
A court in Diyarbakır sentenced 62 officials to five years in jail for their responsibility in a 1996 incident when 10 inmates died and others injured.A local court has sentenced 62 public officials to five years in jail and acquitted 20 other suspects in a historic case from 1996 in a Diyarbakır prison, which resulted in the death of 10 inmates and the injury of 24 others.
The case was retried by the Diyarbakır 3rd High Criminal Court after the High Court of Appeals cancelled the court decision due to insufficient evidence for prosecution.
The 89 suspects, including police officers, soldiers, correction officers and prison doctors, were not present during the retrial. The court concluded that each of the 62 officials were to be given a five year prison sentence. The other 20 suspects were acquitted and the case abated for the other seven suspects due to the statute of limitations.
The prosecutors demanded the 62 suspects to be charged with “causing the death of more than one person without intention by acting beyond the limits.” The prosecutor also demanded the court to abate the case of six suspects who are charged with intentionally injuring people.
The prosecutor also demanded the abatement for the case against the Serdar Gök, the doctor at Diyarbakır prison who at the time did not treat inmate Kadir Demir, who was severely wounded and instead sent him to Gaziantep Prison.
The victim’s lawyer, Mesut Beştaş, said the victims were beaten fatally. “All of the inmates who died received beatings to their heads. The defenses do not include the truths. One inmate sent to Gaziantep almost died of hunger,” said Beştaş, also claiming the politicians during that time were well-aware of the incidents happening in the prison.
In the infamous Diyarbakır Prison, torture and ill-treatment were exercised by officials, particularly in the aftermath of the Sept. 12, 1980 coup d’état.
The scene of brutal methods of torture against prisoners, Diyarbakır Prison is assumed to be a crucial factor in the escalation of the conflict over the Kurdish issue. There were many cases in which prisoners chose to join the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) following their release from Diyarbakır Prison, mainly due to the ill-treatment they received while in prison.