Turkish government releases criminals, not political prisoners, who were attacked in Batman prison

Turkish parliament’s Justice Commission on Saturday approved a divisive draft law that would release up to 100,000 inmates to stave off the spread of the deadly coronavirus, while leaving journalists and political prisoners in jail to fend for themselves.

According to AHVAL NEWS, roughly 100 proposals for amendments in the bill by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and Good Party were all denied, Gazete Duvar reported.

Shortly after the decision, reports came in on a prison riot erupting in the Kurdish-majority city of Batman. The unrest took place in Batman’s Type-M closed prison, Istanbul-based daily Özgür Gündem tweeted, posting video footage of the gendarmerie mobilising towards the jail.

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) released a statement on the riot instigated by prisoners in Batman M Type Prison who are excluded from the amnesty to be introduced on the law on execution of sentences over Coronavirus pandemic,ANF Agency reported.

HDP said they were closely following the developments in Batman Prison and are in contact with the Human Rights Association (IHD) and Batman Bar Association, while HDP deputies Feleknas Uca, Necdet İpekyüz and Sıddık Taş are at the scene, monitoring the situation.

HDP called on relevant institutions and organizations to immediately inform the public and to adopt a stand to relieve the concerns. Batman Bar Association released a statement on the riot of prisoners. The association said that they were in contact with relevant authorities, adding; “According to information received, there has been an intervention on wards and there has been no loss of life.”