The LGBTI prisoner who has been kept in isolation stated that they have reached the level of committing suicide in a letter they wrote to the Civil Society in the Penal System Foundation (CISST) and asked for help in order to be referred to a prison where more LGBTI prisoners are being held.
Source: Cansu Pişkin, “Tecritte tutulan LGBTİ mahpus: İntiharın eşiğine geldim,” Evrensel, May 8, 2018, https://www.evrensel.net/haber/351991/tecritte-tutulan-lgbti-mahpus-intiharin-esigine-geldim
Even though they are a criminal convict, they have been kept in solitary cells for political prisoners and convicts with aggravated sentences. The LGBTI prisoner wrote in their letter:
“After I came to the type T prison of Erzincan, I stayed in the infirmary room for five days. After that, I was put in a solitary cell where political prisoners and convicts with aggravated sentences are held. I’m only given one hour of leisure time. I’m not a political or aggravated prisoner; I’m a law offender. I don’t have access to the yard, nor do I have a place to hang my washed clothes. The bathroom and the shower are in the same place. I’m washing my dishes in the toilet. I suffer from chronic asthmatic bronchitis. I’m experiencing a violation of human rights. There is no one I can talk to, no other LGBTI prisoner. I’m psychologically drained. I’ve come to the stage of committing suicide.
Refusal to accommodate an LGBTI prisoner
This LGBTI prisoner has been making a request to be transferred to another prison since last year, and all their requests have been left unanswered. They write:
“First, I was supposed to be sent to the type L prison of Balikesir, but since there was no other LGBTI prisoner there my transfer request was not approved. Later came the type L prison of Rize and the type T No. 2 closed prison of Kayseri, respectively. They did not agree to the transfer, answering that they couldn’t accommodate such LGBTI prisoners. Later, two of our LGBTI friends were transferred to No. 2 prison of Kayseri. I was told there were LGBTI prisoners in the prison of Erzincan, which means I was literally tricked.”
The LGBTI prisoner briefly talked about how unjustly they are being treated, and that they had to spend about 2.000 Liras for the transfer procedures. The prisoner indicated they suffer from chronic asthmatic bronchitis and drew attention to the severe violation of human rights that they are experiencing. The prisoner said their family is living in Aydin-Kusadasi and due to the distance and health issues they can’t come visit them; they are asking for help:
“My father has undergone a heart operation; his situation is critical. Same for my mother, they are old. I have a disabled older brother who is in Kayseri. This means that for them it’s very hard to come here. I’m feeling worse psychologically day by day. I’m crammed in a small room. I’m supposed to be kept as an inmate in good conditions for seven years. I don’t want to jeopardise my case. I want to carry out the rest of my punishment where other queers in the same situation as me are being kept. I want assistance in order to be transferred for security reasons.”
Following the prisoner’s letter, CISST (Inmates in Penitentiary System) has taken action and applied for their referral to the authorities.