For Political Prisoners, Turkey’s Jails Turn to a Graveyard Amid Pandemic
The death of an inmate in quarantine in a Turkish prison is not a natural tragedy. It is a murder sanctioned by authorities.
The Covid-19 virus continues to be a menacing threat, no matter what governments (in non-democratic countries) do to obscure the exact toll from public view through tailored statistics. The lack of transparency and political accountability proves as costly as the pandemic itself given the pileup of body bags in hospital morgues after the experimental shutdown and premature reopening of national economies over the course of the summer. The fall saw a rapid surge in death toll as the world wrestles to contain the pandemic amid an accelerating contest for finding the vaccine.
The record of non-democratic countries offers a testament to the high cost of misplaced confidence and botched handling of the entire process in the existential war against this national health threat. In Turkey, things are no exception and certainly no better. There is even a sinister and more troubling aspect attached to the political management of the combat against the virus. It is that some people appear to have been deliberately condemned by political authorities to the mercy of a merciless virus in the riskiest places such as prison where Covid-19 charges through the ranks of inmates like a Medieval cavalry as a death angel.
COVID-19 Exposes a Fatal Threat in Turkey’s Over-Crowded Prisons
Only three weeks after the government’s exclusive amnesty bill, reports of COVID-19 cases in some prisons reveal the…
In April and May, I penned down two detailed pieces documenting the high-profile risk posed by the Covid against the vulnerable inmates while the government was busy with crafting a plan to grant an amnesty to convicted prisoners. Noble though the intention might have seemed when the news broke, it was indeed not. It was entirely a cunning plan to leave the political prisoners (read as journalists, writers, and victims of the purge terror ) outside the scope of the amnesty. In this distressing context, reports, verified and unverified (this ambiguity itself is a deliberate strategy), began…