Turkey 'frees 36,000 prisoners' under judicial control

Prisoners have been released under new decree announced by justice minister on Aug. 17

Turkey 'frees 36,000 prisoners' under judicial control

World Bulletin / News Desk

A total of 35,972 prisoners have been released under judicial supervision in Turkey since the justice minister announced a new decree on Aug. 17, a source at the Justice Ministry said.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the restrictions of talking to the media, said 7,450 people had been released from closed cells and 28,522 from open cells.

In Turkey’s prison system, prisoners in open cells are allowed to venture out of their confined spaces within the prison for exercise etc.; other more high-risk prisoners are placed in closed cells who get limited time out of their cells.

According to the source, 16,223 people had been moved from closed cells to open cells.

Last month, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag announced the conditional release from prison of inmates with two or less years remaining in their sentences.

Bozdag said the measure would only involve inmates who committed crimes before July 1, a move excluding any people arrested after the July 15 coup attempt.  The measure excludes people convicted of murder, domestic violence, sexual abuse, or crimes against the state, he said. He added the measure was not an amnesty.

Further 2000 prisoners are expected to be released after certain procedures were met, the source added.

In an address on local Turkish television channel, A HABER, last month, Bozdag said: “A total of 214,000 inmates are in prisons right now. The decree only concerned 93,000 convicts.”

After the deadly coup attempt, which martyred at least 240 people and injured nearly 2,200 others, Turkey declared a state of emergency on July 20.

During a state of emergency, the Cabinet has the right to issue statutory decrees under the president of the republic without regard to routine procedures and restrictions in Article 91 of the Constitution.

These decrees are first published in the official gazette and then submitted to parliament for ratification.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Eylül 2016, 16:44