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COVID-19: Prisoner Prosecutions in the Pandemic Process

COVID-19 virus, which started to be seen in almost all countries of the world ; It has started to make life difficult due to its economic, political and social effects, as it threatens people's health. The world and Europe's palace in Turkey with great justice to the density of human population on the court and be able to give rise to the spread of the virus in this case, it has created the need for measures to be taken in the judicial system.


With the first incident in our country, immediately after 13.03.2020, the Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) deemed necessary by the postponement of the hearings and discoveries, except for investigations and prosecutions and other issues to be considered urgent, in order not to cause any problems in the conduct of the proceedings. The evaluation of the use of the SEGBİS application by our courts ”was made to the judges and prosecutors and based on the proposal, almost all courts decided to postpone by not hearing. Even in the HSK proposal, although it is clearly an exception to the investigations and prosecutions of the detainees, it was observed that most of the detainees were also tried to postpone the hearing without a hearing.


In accordance with the principle of Independence of Judges; judges have free will when deciding to postpone the hearing. HSK can only make suggestions on this matter. Considering this issue; There is no contradiction in terms of HSK for the courts' decision to postpone the hearing in the detainee files. There is no doubt that judges consider human health when deciding to postpone the hearing. However, the postponement decisions made in the detainees' files; According to the article “Freedom of Person and Security” mentioned in the 19th article of the Constitution; In terms of international human rights law documents, it will clearly contradict the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (art. 3 and 9), the United Nations Convention on Civil and Political Rights (art. 9) and the European Convention on Human Rights (art. 5).


Well, can we say that the proceedings made with the statements taken through the SEGBİS without a hearing or with or without a lawyer are fair? The answer is definitely no. The principles of directness, uninterruptedness, openness, face-to-face and verbalism of the hearing are the basic principles; These principles must be followed in any case because they are related to public order. These principles have found their worth in documents regulating national or international human rights and freedoms; In case of violation of these, we cannot talk about a healthy trial.


There is no doubt that human health is the top priority in the management system. However, considering the state's obligation to protect and protect individual rights and freedoms, it is essential to take necessary medical precautions and to hold the detainees on time. Otherwise, the state will be obliged to pay compensation due to the violation of the right to a fair trial of the accused.

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