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Kocaeli

Women and Children in Prison

Recent reports from the Journalist and Writers Foundation in Turkey and the Stockholm Center for Freedom have estimated the number of women in Turkish prisons is a staggering 17,000 along with over 660 children. Official records indicate that 23 percent of these children are infants less than a year old. Dr. Alan Mendoza, executive director of the Henry Jackson Society (a British foreign policy think tank) said “prison is no place for children in any civilized country”.

These reports have questioned the basis for the detainment and imprisonment of these women, as well as the timing of their arrests, in some cases shortly after giving birth. Many of these women have been held without charges being pressed and without access to legal representation, and in some cases, access to their family.

Reports from within Turkey have shown images of security officials waiting outside hospital rooms for mothers to be discharged in order to detain them and their newborn children. With the critical need of preventing bacteria during a child’s first months, questions about the conditions of the prisons where these women are held with their newborn children have also arisen in numerous media reports. Since “extra food, books, phone calls, trips to the hospital, and bathroom supplies are all added to inmates’ prison bills” some women with poor financial situation cannot afford basic hygienic items such as sanitary pads (which they are not provided).

The prison conditions are not satisfactory for the well being of women, and especially children. They are forced to stay in overcrowded rooms, denied health care, missing fresh air and have to share bed and meal.

Many inmates sleep on the floor. Human Rights Association (IHD) has stated that in Turkey, 1025 prisoners are in poor health, 357 of which are seriously ill. Nonetheless, at a parliamentary hearing, it was revealed that at least five women have suspiciously died at the women’s prison in Kocaeli’s Gebze district .

We wholeheartedly condemn this violation of basic human rights of not only the imprisoned women but also these children who are being subjected to a life behind bars without cause.

Read AST’s report on women and children in prison:
AST_1-28-18_REPORT4_WOMEN’S AND CHILDREN’S RIGHTS ARE UNDER ATTACK IN TURKEY

Download AST’s presentation on women and children in prison:
http://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/AST_presentation_Persecution-of-women-in-Turkey.pdf

Download AST’s newsletter on women and children in prison:
http://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/AST_Newsletter2_Womens-Rights-Newsletter.pdf

News and reports on women and children in prison:
http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/TR/2018-03-19_Second_OHCHR_Turkey_Report.pdf
http://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/AST_Newsletter2_Womens-Rights-Newsletter.pdf
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/02/13/hundreds-young-turkish-children-jailed-alongside-their-moms-as-part-post-coup-crackdown.html
http://jwf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Children-Report-2017-.pdf
http://jwf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Womens-Rights-Under-Attack.pdf
http://stockholmcf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Jailing-women-in-Turkey.pdf

We urge everyone to take action. Express your views or send attached statement below to following addresses:

1. Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau
Email: justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca

2. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Chrystia Freeland
Email: Chrystia.Freeland@parl.gc.ca

3. Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada, Ahmed D. Hussen
Email: Ahmed.Hussen@parl.gc.ca

4. Foreign Affairs and International Development Committee of Canada, Robert D. Nault
Email: Bob.Nault@parl.gc.ca

5. Justice and Human Rights Committee of Canada, Anthony Housefather
Email: Anthony.Housefather@parl.gc.ca

6. Embassy of Canada to Turkey in Ankara
Email: ankra@international.gc.ca

Download sample statement as a word document:
http://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/AST_Letter-Women-and-children-in-Prison.docx

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Women and Children in Prison

As you are aware, recent reports from the Journalist and Writers Foundation in Turkey and the Stockholm Center for Freedom have estimated the number of women in Turkish prisons is a staggering 17,000 along with over 660 children. Official records indicate that 23 percent of these children are infants less than a year old. Dr. Alan Mendoza, executive director of the Henry Jackson Society (a British foreign policy think tank) said “prison is no place for children in any civilized country”.

These reports have questioned the basis for the detainment and imprisonment of these women, as well as the timing of their arrests, in some cases shortly after giving birth. Many of these women have been held without charges being pressed and without access to legal representation, and in some cases, access to their family.

Reports from within Turkey have shown images of security officials waiting outside hospital rooms for mothers to be discharged in order to detain them and their newborn children. With the critical need of preventing bacteria during a child’s first months, questions about the conditions of the prisons where these women are held with their newborn children have also arisen in numerous media reports. Since “extra food, books, phone calls, trips to the hospital, and bathroom supplies are all added to inmates’ prison bills” some women with poor financial situation cannot afford basic hygienic items such as sanitary pads (which they are not provided).

The prison conditions are not satisfactory for the well being of women, and especially children. They are forced to stay in overcrowded rooms, denied health care, missing fresh air and have to share bed and meal.

Many inmates sleep on the floor. Human Rights Association (IHD) has stated that in Turkey, 1025 prisoners are in poor health, 357 of which are seriously ill. Nonetheless, at a parliamentary hearing, it was revealed that at least five women have suspiciously died at the women’s prison in Kocaeli’s Gebze district .

We wholeheartedly condemn this violation of basic human rights of not only the imprisoned women but also these children who are being subjected to a life behind bars without cause.

Read AST’s report on women and children in prison:
AST_1-28-18_REPORT4_WOMEN’S AND CHILDREN’S RIGHTS ARE UNDER ATTACK IN TURKEY

Download AST’s presentation on women and children in prison:
http://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/AST_presentation_Persecution-of-women-in-Turkey.pdf

News and reports on women and children in prison:
http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/TR/2018-03-19_Second_OHCHR_Turkey_Report.pdf
http://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/AST_Newsletter2_Womens-Rights-Newsletter.pdf
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/02/13/hundreds-young-turkish-children-jailed-alongside-their-moms-as-part-post-coup-crackdown.html
http://jwf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Children-Report-2017-.pdf
http://jwf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Womens-Rights-Under-Attack.pdf
http://stockholmcf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Jailing-women-in-Turkey.pdf

We urge everyone to take action. Express your views or send attached statement to your Representatives and Senators, and urge them to bring up this concern to the State Department:

U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senators
State Representatives
State Senators

Find your members of Congress:
https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members
Find your senators:
https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?OrderBy=state

Download sample statement as a word document:
AST_Letter-Regarding-Women-and-children-in-Prison

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Rights defender Gergerlioğlu gets 2.5 year prison sentence on terror charges

Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, one of Turkey’s most renowned human rights activists and former president of the Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples (Mazlumder), has been handed down a prison sentence of two-and-a-half years on charges of disseminating terrorist propaganda.

The verdict was decided by the Kocaeli 2nd High Criminal Court on Wednesday where Gergerlioğlu was standing trial on charges of involvement in terrorist propaganda.

Gergerlioğlu was tried because of his messages on social media that called for the end of years-long clashes between the Turkish military and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The court ruled that Gergerlioğlu’s messages on social media were tantamount to praising the activities of the PKK and the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella organization that encompasses the PKK.

In a message posted to his personal blog on Wednesday, Gergerlioğlu commented on the court ruling and said throughout his life he has defended human rights, rejected conflict, supported dialogue and reconciliation and defended everyone’s right without discrimination.

“At a time when the law has been shelved, I do not accept this very unjust ruling, and I leave it to the conscience of the nation. I will continue my struggle so that [people of] all identities and views can enjoy human rights and a free life,” he wrote.

Gergerlioğlu also said that at a time when unbelievable acts of tyranny are taking place in the country, he would not lose his hope about the end of this period and continue his efforts to maintain the rule of law.

Gross human rights violations have been taking place in Turkey since a failed coup attempt in July 2016 as the Turkish government has launched a massive witch-hunt to punish its critics under the pretext of an anti-coup fight.

Gergerlioğlu has been a vocal critic of the government’s ongoing crackdown on regular citizens. He frequently brings rights violations experienced by the government’s victims to public attention.

Gergerlioğlu, who is a doctor by profession, was also fired from his job at a public hospital by a government decree in January 2017.

Source:
https://turkeypurge.com/rights-defender-gergerlioglu-gets-2-5-year-prison-sentence-terror-charges

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