A Turkish public prosecutor has declined to pursue the case of Garibe Gezer, who was reportedly beaten and sexually harassed by prison guards and found dead in her cell on December 9, 2021, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported, citing Bold Medya.
The case will be submitted to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), lawyers for the Gezer family said at a press conference on Friday.
In a letter sent to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Haşim Gezer, an inmate in Elazığ Prison and the brother of Garibe Gezer, said Garibe told him in a phone call how she was abused physically and sexually by guards in Kandıra Prison in Turkey’s Izmit province.
Garibe told her brother she was put in a padded cell where she was stripped in front of male guards, beaten, sexually harassed and left without medical treatment.
The Jin News Agency earlier released a video showing the mistreatment by the prison guards.
— Jin News (@jinnewsturkce) November 26, 2022
The prison administration claimed she hung herself in a cell where she was incarcerated alone. She had attempted suicide before but was put in a solitary cell despite that. She was also interrogated by the prosecutor’s office for talking about the mistreatment.
In October, 22 female deputies from the HDP asked in a parliamentary question posed to then-justice minister Abdülhamit Gül if an investigation had been launched into the prison guards in the case. Human Rights Association (İHD) co-chair and lawyer Eren Keskin also filed a complaint the same month against the guards.
There have been widespread claims of torture in Turkey’s prisons and detention centers that have so far gone uninvestigated.
Turkey is party to several international conventions that have different review and inspection mechanisms such as the United Nations, the Council of Europe (CoE) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
Yet, in the recent past the Turkish government has continuously disregarded the provisions of the constitution and failed to uphold its international obligations.