Concerns about risk of isolation in Turkish prisons

Amnesty International is concerned about reports that solitary confinement and small group isolation are being practised in Kartal Special Type Prisons. The organisation believes that these regimes might be extended to the planned F-Type prisons. The Turkish authorities are constructing F-Type prisons as an alternative to the crowded dormitories in many of the present prisons.

Some 800 prisoners in the Turkish prisons, charged or convicted of politically motivated offences, continue their hunger strike in protest, among other things, against the construction of these F-Type prisons and the possible imposition of a regime of isolation. The general health of the prisoners on hunger strike is reportedly deteriorating. They suffer from vomiting, dizziness, gastric bleeding, walking problems and low blood pressure.

In some aspects, the reasons for the protest coincide with concerns Amnesty International has raised repeatedly with successive Turkish governments.

The lives of these prisoners are at risk as the hunger strike entered its 39th day, and some 40 prisoners have converted their hunger strike into a death fast since the 19 November.

According to a report released by a delegation which visited the construction site of Sincan F-Type Prison in July 2000, the conditions in this type of prison may not comply with international standards for access to natural air and light in cells and appropriate access by prisoners to exercise in the open air.

Amnesty International urges the Turkish government to ensure that all prisoners, including prisoners convicted for political offences, are treated in compliance with international standards. Prisoners should be given an adequate period of time each day during which they can associate with other prisoners outside the confines of their cells or dormitories and adequate exercise facilities.

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