The coronavirus continues to spread rapidly in Turkey’s prisons. As Advocates of Silenced Turkey, we spoke to the relatives of Namık Bingöl, a 57-year-old diabetic with high blood pressure inmate in the Gaziantep H-type closed prison after his COVID-19 test results turned out to be positive.
Close family members of Bingöl, incarcerated in Gaziantep Prison for about 4 years, claim that the prison administration did not provide them with accurate information about his status.
‘‘Today (September 10th), I went to see my father. While we were entering the prison, everyone who got there before us was upset saying that the inmates were sick. My father came when we arrived, he was barely standing. Her eyes were red, he was constantly sweating and coughing; his voice was hoarse” stated Bingöl’s daughter.
The family learned that Namık Bingöl’s coronavirus test was positive by chance. After returning home from prison, they received a phone call but they were not sure where the call was from, but they thought of it to be from the Ministry of Health. Bingöl’s daughter told AST that they wanted to talk to him and asked if he had contacted us. When she asked why they were asking these questions she was told that Bingol was tested for the COVID virus and the result was positive. They eventually gave the contact number of the jail.
Later on, the family learned that Namık Bingöl did not want to tell his family about the test in order not to upset them during the visit. However, he then stated that he had a test a few days ago and was waiting for the result. He also added that it was only him in the ward who was tested.
Following this situation, the family tried to reach the prison administration but could not get a satisfying response. They then contacted their lawyers when a guard told them “We don’t have time to deal with you, please hang up”. The relatives, who later managed to meet with the prison administration, learned that Namık Bingöl was taken into a single room.
The family believes that such a patient who has difficulty even with standing alone cannot meet their personal needs himself. They claim that 5 wards in the same prison are under the effect of virus spread and the life risk is rapidly increasing.
Another daughter of Namik Bingol shared a video on Twitter to call on the authorities for his conditional release.
You can access the video from this link.
Acilen hakkı olan tahliyesini istiyoruz. pic.twitter.com/j4pi8NZ2Cq
— faith(inanç)2702 (@faith27021) September 12, 2020
Online Image of the document from the health department shows that imprisoned Namik Bingol’s Covid-19 test was positive.
Those who want to send us additional information on this subject can contact AST via firstname.lastname@example.org.