Rights abused in local prison, deputy claims

Rights abused in local prison, deputy claims

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Severe rights abuses that include forced strippings and physical abuse from a “beating squad” are occurring at a jail in the southern province of Osmaniye, an opposition lawmaker said yesterday.

“We were horrified. The arbitrary administration of the prison and illegal practices are disgraceful. Nothing can justify the stripping of inmates and the examination of their anuses. Crimes against humanity are being committed there,” Malik Ejder Özdemir, a member of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Parliament’s Human Rights Commission, told the Hürriyet Daily News after his group recently visited the penitentiary.The commission will now pen a report on its findings, Özdemir said.

Özdemir said both male and female visitors to the prison were stripped for security checks, while inmates were also subjected to rectal examinations with the purported of aim of discovering whether they are smuggling drugs.

The lawmaker also decried severe disciplinary arrangements at the prison. “There are special teams of about 10 people. According to the prison administration, the teams have been created under prison regulations. But the inmates call them ‘beating squads.’ The prison administration has created an empire of fear. There is mistreatment and beatings,” he said. 

Female inmates who are forced to take their children with them to prison are not allocated food for their sons and daughters, Özdemir said. The inmates complain that visitors are subjected to arbitrary treatment and harassment, that prisoners are forced to walk in a line looking down and that even “over-consumption of water” is a reason for penalties, he added. 

The CHP is considering whether to submit a censure motion against Justice Minister Ergin, he added.

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