The country’s parliament took this step because of the spread of coronavirus.
Turkey’s parliament on Tuesday approved a law allowing the release of tens of thousands of prisoners as a security measure amid a coronavirus outbreak.
“After the bill was passed, it came into force,” the Parliament’s General Assembly said on its official Twitter account.
Human rights watch and Amnesty International have criticized the law because it does not apply to detainees charged under controversial anti-terrorism laws.
Human rights organizations also condemned the exclusion of people from the list, including journalists, politicians, and lawyers, who are being held in pre-trial detention centers.
“Many people who are in prison for standing up for their rights – they did not commit any crimes – are excluded from the list because the government has decided to use its vague anti-terrorism laws,” Andrew Gardner of Amnesty International told AFP.
Among those who will not be released are a businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala and Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas.
Milena Buyum, and Amnesty international activist in Turkey, tweeted that after several days of debate in Parliament, “none of the opposition’s amendments were accepted.”
When the ruling Justice and Development Party introduced the bill, it said that about 45,000 people would be released under the law providing for early release, and the number of people would increase to 90,000 including those who would be held under house arrest.
Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul said on Monday that three prisoners died from COVID-19 after 17 convicts were infected.