‘We defend life’ vigil in 30 provinces

  • 15:26 23 December 2021
  • News
ISTANBUL - The IHD will hold ‘’We defend life’’ vigil in 30 provinces to draw attention to the increasing deaths in prisons and the problems that sick prisoners experience in accessing their health rights.
While the violations of rights and the isolation system in prisons in Turkey and the cities of the region deepen day by day, relatives of prisoners from all over the country are trying to make their voices heard. The death of seven prisoners in the last period shows that a new concept has been implemented in prisons. The Human Rights Association (IHD) will hold ‘’We defend life’’ vigil today in 30 cities where it has branches and representative offices in order to draw attention to the increasing deaths and the problems experienced by sick prisoners in accessing their health rights. The families, right defenders and lawyers will attend the vigil.
‘Seven prisoners lost their lives in Human Rights Week’
IHD Istanbul Branch Chair Gülseren Yoleri stated that there have been many violations of rights in prisons from the past to the present, but with the pandemic, the problems in accessing the right to health and treatment are increasing. Gülseren emphasized that although they insistently stated that this situation caused the prisoners to die, nothing was done. ‘’We say that extremely sick prisoners must be released so they can be treated. However, sick prisoners are not released as a result of negative reports by the Forensic Medicine Institute or negative evaluations given by the police station. Failure to release sick prisoners seriously threatens their life safety and right to life. During the last Human Rights Week, seven prisoners lost their lives. We learned that prisoners who lost their lives struggled with serious illnesses and had problems about their access to treatment, and non-governmental organizations struggled for prisoners for their access to treatment,’’ Gülseren said.
‘Prisoners are subjected to heavy isolation’
Stating that the prisoners were not released despite it was known that they would die under these conditions, Gülseren said, ‘’We saw in the Garibe Gezer case that the prisoners who allegedly committed suicide had complaints about torture and ill-treatment before. In addition to torture and ill-treatment, they are subjected to rights usurps and heavy isolation. When F-Type prisons started to be discussed after 1997, we always said that isolation practice should not be systematized by revealing that heavy isolation practices will have negative effects on prisoners both physically and mentally. After 21 years since the massacre on December 19, we are facing with the negative consequences of a heavy isolation’’.
‘Prisoners are left for dead’
Stating that they drew attention to the health problems experienced by the prisoners in the ‘’F sessions’’ they held as the Human Rights Association, Gülseren expressed that the problems of the prisoners regarding access to health increased. Gülseren continued as follows, ‘’The primary issue should be the prevention of illnesses, preventive medicine should be implemented in prisons in a systematic way. Sick prisoners lose their lives as a result of failure to implement these practices. Prisoners are left for dead. For this reason, the biggest duty for the prisoners’ voices to be heard falls on the families and the human rights and legal organizations working in this field’’.
Vigil in 30 provinces
Expressing that they will hold the ‘’We defend life’’ vigil in order to ensure that sick prisoners’ access to their right to treatment and to inform the public about what is happening in prisons, Gülseren said, ‘’In addition to our other works, we will hold a one-day event called ‘We defend life’. This event will take place in 30 provinces where IHD has branches and representative offices. As IHD Istanbul Branch, we will hold the vigil between 18:00 and 21:00. During this period, the forum will be held by families, lawyers and right defenders. We will be open to all kinds of participation and visits’’.