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Critical state of health of prisoners in Turkey during the Covid-19 pandemic

Written declaration No. 718 | Doc. 15244 | 30 April 2021

Mr Frank SCHWABE, Germany, SOC ; Ms Gökay AKBULUT, Germany, UEL ; Ms Luise AMTSBERG, Germany, SOC ; Ms Theodora BAKOYANNIS, Greece, EPP/CD ; Ms Petra BAYR, Austria, SOC ; Ms Marina BERLINGHIERI, Italy, SOC ; Ms Margreet De BOER, Netherlands, SOC ; Mr Anastasios CHATZIVASILEIOU, Greece, EPP/CD ; Ms Yolaine de COURSON, France, ALDE ; Ms Edite ESTRELA, Portugal, SOC ; Mr Sokratis FAMELLOS, Greece, UEL ; Mr Piero FASSINO, Italy, SOC ; Mr Paul GAVAN, Ireland, UEL ; Mr Frank HEINRICH, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Dimitrios KAIRIDIS, Greece, EPP/CD ; Mr Tiny KOX, Netherlands, UEL ; Ms Carmen LEYTE, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Reinhold LOPATKA, Austria, EPP/CD ; Mr Jacques MAIRE, France, ALDE ; Ms Cornelia MÖHRING, Germany, UEL ; Mr Marco NICOLINI, San Marino, UEL ; Ms Ria OOMEN-RUIJTEN, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Mr Hişyar ÖZSOY, Turkey, UEL ; Mr Aleksander POCIEJ, Poland, EPP/CD ; Ms Maria RIZZOTTI, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Andrzej SZEJNA, Poland, SOC

We, the undersigned, declare the following:

The Covid-19 pandemic has created specific challenges for places of deprivation of liberty in all member States of the Council of Europe, but especially in Turkey.

A lot of people in places of deprivation of liberty in Turkey are in a very critical state of health, such as Mr Ismail Yilmaz (66 years old), who has been detained for political reasons for 16 years. He was largely isolated in solitary confinement for most of his prison term. Because of his chronic illnesses, he belongs to the highest risk group.

The Council of Europe anti-torture Committee points out in its "Statement of principles relating to the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in the context of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic", that the WHO guidelines on fighting the pandemic, as well as national health and clinical guidelines consistent with international standards, must be respected and implemented fully in all places of deprivation of liberty.

Therefore, the Parliamentary Assembly should look into the conditions of places of deprivation of liberty in Turkey during the pandemic and pay a special attention to the most vulnerable groups of detainees. We urge the Turkish authorities to immediately look into the situation to comply with the international standards and guidelines and fighting the pandemic in places of deprivation of liberty.