Turkish Police Detain 66 Protestors against Prison Reform
Turkish police detained in Istanbul on Tuesday 66 people protesting against a plan to close the crowded dormitories in Turkey's troubled jails and replace them with cells, the all-news NTV television channel reported.
Some 100 protestors gathered in front of the Bayrampasa prison, on Istanbul's European side, chanting slogans against the government's project to rehabilitate prisons.
Police detained 66 of the demonstrators after dispersing the crowd, which ignored calls to end the protest and leave the site, NTV said.
Ankara plans to inaugurate in the upcoming days new prisons in several cities, known as F-type jails, where three inmates at most will be able to stay in a single cell.
Human rights groups have denounced the reform arguing that the new system will aggravate the state of inmates by leading to further social alienation.
At present, between ten and 60 inmates stay together in a single compound, which makes it difficult for authorities to maintain order in the jails, where uprisings and hostage-taking have become commonplace in recent years.
Due to poor security, many inmates are able to smuggle cellular phones and firearms into the prisons, and guns have been used against security forces during riots.
There are about 600 jails in Turkey, housing about 62,000 inmates – ISTANBUL (AFP)
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