Single restroom for 67 convicts raises concerns in recent report

Single restroom for 67 convicts raises concerns in recent report

Single restroom for 67 convicts raises concerns in recent report

Hürriyet file photo

The Turkish Parliament’s Human Rights Commission has released a new report criticizing several prisons for housing inmates under inhumane conditions, including poor sanitary standards.

Specifically prisons in the southeastern province of Mardin’s prisons, especially those in the Kızıltepe district, were found to be below standards, with almost 281 convicts sleeping on mattresses on the floor and each bathroom being used by an average of 67 women. More than 60 women live on a single ward in Mardin’s prison, although the wards were designed to house only 20 people, the report said. Windows on the wards are reportedly too small, and there is no air conditioning on the wards, according to the commission’s findings.

Some convicts have also been waiting to see a dentist for over nine months, according to the report, which also highlights major hygiene issues in the prison.

A large-scale incident of food poisoning allegedly occurred in the prison on April 22. “In the April 22 incident some 60 people got sick and were sent to the hospital, but this number was increased by those who were taking advantage of the situation, reaching a total of 232 people. The investigation is continuing, and the results of the first analyses of the yogurt samples show a large amount of E. coli bacteria, but this not a noteworthy amount in terms of its possible detrimental affects to human health,” the report quotes the prison’s manager as saying.

The report also addresses the overall number of convicts at Kocaeli Prison in the Marmara province of Kocaeli, which has tripled following the recently passed changes to the judicial system known as the Third Judicial Package, which calls for convicts who are one year away from release to be transferred to Kocaeli prison. This regulation has resulted in three convicts sharing one bed in some cases, the report read.