HDP Deputy Gergerlioglu: Political prisoners are denied the rights to video calling
HDP Kocaeli Deputy Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu stated that the newly introduced right to video calls in prisons was not given to political prisoners on the grounds that “it is a pilot application and has not yet been completed.” Gergerlioglu, citing the response that Ramazan Altin from Trabzon Besikduzu T-Type Prison, was given by the Administration and Monitoring Board as an example, said, “The Monitoring Board said, ‘because the technical infrastructure is not ready, the Ministry of Justice system does not allow this, even if we ask for it.” Gergerlioglu says that, this “means that the Ministry is not telling the truth or the Monitoring Board is not telling the truth.”
Ramazan Altin claimed that political prisoners were not given the right to make video calls. Noting that he also submitted an application for this right that was given to other convicts following the evaluation of the Prison Administration and Monitoring Board, Altin said, “Unfortunately, my request was rejected for arbitrary reasons. In the decision made by the Administration and Monitoring Board, it was stated that the choice belonged to the Ministry, that the system was new, that the software-writing process was continuing, that this was a pilot region, etc. Interestingly, none of these justifications apply to judicial prisoners as these prisoners have been video calling for 30 minutes a week since this system came to the prison and for an additional 30 minutes when they do not receive visitors.”
'IT’S A PILOT APPLICATION, THE EVALUATION PRO IS NOT DEFINED IN UYAP'
Alton demanded that their grievances be addressed by granting political prisoners the right to video calls. The response of the Directorate of Administration and Monitoring Board of the Besikduzu T-Type Closed Penitentiary Institution, dated September 23, 2022, to Altin reads:
“The ACEP System application cabinets and MMC devices located in the rooms and wards are working in an integrated manner in line with the data on the National Judiciary Informatics System (UYAP); the screens, which need to be evaluated by our Administration and Monitoring Board in terms of making video calls with organized crime units, are pilot applications. As it was understood that a positive or negative evaluation could not be made due to the fact that the application has not been integrated with UYAP yet, the decision was made as follows. As the reason for the video call request of convict Ramazan Altin has been explained above, it has been decided that there is no room to make a decision regarding the prisoner’s request since the technical infrastructure has not yet been established in the UYAP integrated system, the software-writing process is still ongoing, and a positive or negative evaluation cannot be made within the current situation.”
HDP's Gergerlioglu, on the other hand, asked that the problems of Altin and those in similar situations be solved, and said:
“There is a regulation for prisoner’s video calling in prisons. This regulation divides prisoners into two as judicial or political. It says that political prisoners can only make video calls with the permission of the prison’s Monitoring Board. Because this permission is not given to a single prisoner, even in a single prison, we have been questioning the situation and writing petitions. We are not given an answer. We learned about an interesting development in this regard from a letter we received. A political prisoner in Trabzon Besikduzu submits a petition in this regard. The Prison Monitoring Board responds by saying, ‘because the technical infrastructure is not ready, the Ministry of Justice system does not allow this, even if we ask for it.’ This means that either the Ministry is not telling the truth, or the Monitoring Board is not telling the truth. We are waiting for an answer that will give us clarity on this issue. Who is telling the truth, who is lying? We are concerned and curious about this. In such a situation involving thousands of prisoners, we find it tragic and comedic that the Ministry and the Monitoring Board have two different views. We are waiting for an explanation from the authorities on this issue," he said. (ANKA)