Report: New Victim Raises Turkish Prison Assault Toll to 32
A Turkish inmate has died of unspecified injuries, the 32nd victim of a nationwide prison assault by security forces in December to end a hunger strike by left-wing prisoners, the Anatolia news agency said Tuesday.
Riza Poyraz died in an Istanbul hospital where he had been in intensive care since Turkish forces stormed the Umraniye prison in the city's Asian side during a four-day assualt, which began on December 19.
A two-month "death fast" organized by the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), led to a four-day crackdown by paramilitary forces on 20 jails across the country.
Nineteen prisoners had already died after setting themselves on fire, and 10 others were killed in armed clashes with police, who lost two paramilitary gendarmes in the assualts.
The hunger strikers were protesting government plans to transfer prisoners from overcrowded dormitories over which authorities had little control, to new, more easily-monitored jails holding no more than three people per cell.
Inmates and human rights groups claim the new jails leave prisoners more vulnerable to abuse.
Several hundred people have been moved to three of the new prisons, but around 350 inmates have continued their hunger strike, and more than 1,650 others are now fasting to support them, Turkish officials said Sunday -- ANKARA (AFP)
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