Imprisoned Kurdish deputy reveals poor health conditions in Turkish prisons

Imprisoned Kurdish deputy reveals poor health conditions in Turkish prisons
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Former HDP deputy Idris Baluken, who is also a medical doctor, has revealed the poor sanitary conditions in Turkish prisons

"It would not be an exaggeration to say that all prisoners in Turkish jails are largely deprived of their basic right to health care," said the former Kurdish deputy who is currently serving a 16-year sentence in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

Idris Baluken, also a doctor, highlighted rights violations and poor health conditions in Turkish prisons in a four-page article for the magazine Toplum ve Hekim.

Baluken said basic medical care is provided only one or two days a week, putting a prisoner who might suffer a heart attack or embolism at great risk.

"The health care policy implemented in prisons is not in line with human dignity," he said.

According to Baluken, the service vehicles that take incarcerated patients to the hospital have so little space that "you can not breathe in them, let alone move around."

"During the hunger strikes, numerous violations of the right to life and health were committed. Vital vitamins were not provided and routine examinations were not carried out, while security forces tried to intervene without consent," Baluken said, adding that physical and psychological repression in prisons led to suicides, "most of which are considered suspicious by the inmates' relatives or friends."

He added:

"It should not be wrong to say that the naked search directly targets the biopsychosocial existence of the human being. It disregards human dignity."