İstanbul’s notorious Silivri prison is facing an outbreak of at least 32 confirmed COVID-19 cases, several of which are reportedly linked to a variant of concern, according to Turkish Journalist Sevinç Özarslan.

The rapidly spreading disease has presented greater concerns in Turkey’s prisons, which were already notorious for human rights abuses, overcrowding and unsanitary conditions before the pandemic. The death of those political prisoners revealed once more how the Turkish government puts their health in immediate danger.

Early in April 2020, Turkey’s parliament passed a bill that allowed the release of tens of thousands of prisoners as part of the country’s ongoing struggle against the COVID-19 epidemic.

However, political prisoners who are convicted or being held in pre-trial detention over “terror or/and coup” links were exempted.