Turkey: Condemnation by Human Rights Court for denying visits and phone calls to prisoners

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The European Court of Human Rightscondemned Turkey on Tuesday (6/12) for denying 19 prisoners for the alleged their involvement in the 2016 coup attempt to accept visits from their children or phone calls from their families during the weekend.

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The 19 are being held in various prisons across Turkey awaiting trial or have already been convicted of terrorism in connection with the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

All of them prisonersas reported by the Athens News Agency, appealed to Turkish justice after the correctional services refused to grant visitation rights during the weekends for their children who are of school age.

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Their appeals were rejected by the Turkish judiciary.

Turkish authorities have justified the denial of visiting rights by arguing that prisons are overcrowded, that there are fewer prison officers on weekends and citing security risks.

However, the European Court of Human Rights points out that it is “of essential importance in the context of the exercise of the right to respect for a prisoner’s private life that he be allowed by the authorities, and if there is a need, to be assisted, in maintaining contact with his immediate family” .

From this fact, “restricting the frequency and duration of family visits and subjecting a prisoner to special arrangements for such visits constitute an infringement of the rights of the applicants”, the decision of the European Court of Justice states.

The Court, the judicial body of the Council of Europe, considers that Ankara violated the right to respect for the private life of the refugees (Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights), both in terms of restricting visiting rights and of phone calls.

Turkey is ordered to pay 16 of the applicants 1,500 to 2,000 euros as moral compensation.

The European Court of Human Rights, based in Strasbourg, is tasked with examining violations of the European Convention on Human Rights, which has been ratified by the 46 members of the Council of Europe.

Source: News Beast

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