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14 April 2020 – Turkey

The Turkish Parliament passed a law to allow tens of thousands of prisoners to be released to prevent the spread in overcrowded prisons. Those jailed on “terrorism” charges following the 2016 coup attempt will not be released, however. According to the law, persons can be temporarily released under judicial control until the end of May, and the Justice Ministry will be able to extend this twice, by a maximum of two months each time. Some would also be released permanently. (According to the CoE, Turkey has the second-largest prison population in Europe and the continent’s most over-crowded prison population as of January 2019.)

According to reports in the Greek press, Turkey has allegedly been pushing Covid-infected migrants across the border into Greece. According to (11 April), “Sources that cannot be named but are considered reliable believe that Turkey has a plan to push migrants infected with the coronavirus to cross into Greece and other parts of Europe in the midst of the virus pandemic. According to the sources, these migrants, many of whom were also at the Pazarkule, or Kastanies, border crossing, have been transported from migrant camps in the hinterland.”