‘Solitary not our decision’
WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
Ergin says the solitary confinement decision belongs to prison authorities. AA photoJustice Minister Sadullah Ergin revealed yesterday that 16 of the suspects in the massive Ergenekon case were kept in solitary confinement under a decision by the prison authorities. Among them were journalist Mustafa Balbay, elected to Parliament on the ticket of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) in June 2011, and Tuncay Özkan, another journalist. The two shared a ward until February 2011 when they were transferred to separate wards in a new compound inside the Silivri Prison complex.
Ergin made the statement in response to a parliamentary question by CHP deputy Turgut Dibek. To justify the solitary confinement practice, the minister cited prison regulations stipulating that “inmates are kept in separate rooms according to their crimes and the security risk they posed.”