Court of Cassation rules for same transfer period for Turkish, foreign convicts
Mesut Hasan Benli - ANKARA
The Court of Cassation has ruled for the same transfer period for Turkish and foreign convicts moving from closed to open prisons, calling the previous practice which made foreign convicts move to open prisons a lot later than local inmates “discriminatory.”
The lawyers of a Jordanian man, jailed in the capital Ankara’s Sincan L-Type Closed Prison, had applied to the Court of Cassation requesting the halt of the regulation on foreign convicts’ transfer period to open prisons.
In accordance with the regulations, a Turkish citizen handed down a jail sentence of less than 10 years receives the right to be transferred to an open prison after spending a month in a closed prison.
Foreign convicts, under the same conditions however, receive the right to be transferred to an open prison until there remains at least three years to their provisional release.
Two people who committed the same crime, faced trial, received sentences under the same law but received different transfer periods due to their races breaches the prohibition of discrimination as stipulated by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the lawyer’s said in a petition.
The Justice Ministry, however, believes foreign convicts are more likely to jailbreak after being transferred to open prisons.
In a period of 42 months, 265 foreign convicts escaped open prisons, and only 16 of them were captured, the Justice Ministry’s defense stressed.
“Different implementations on transfer courses are carried out due to the efficient execution of enforcements,” said the ministry.
The Court of Cassation unanimously halted the execution of the regulation’s clause.
“Discriminating convicts due to their races or countries of origin contradict the constitution’s equal protection of law and the ECHR’s prohibition of discrimination,” the ruling said.