Prisons: For many centuries, being imprisoned has been considered punishment for crimes committed.
Prisons around the world vary in size and amenities offered, particularly dependent on the types of criminals they house.
Minimum security “luxury” prisons are known to have comfortable beds, access to private bathrooms, and recreational activities including rock climbing, tennis and horseback riding.
But there are prisons on the other end of the spectrum as well, those that are severely overcrowded, contain excessively violent atmospheres, and lack proper medical care for inmates. This list highlights the top 5 most dangerous in world history:
4. Tadmor prison, Syria
Tadmor prison was located in Palmyra in the deserts of eastern Syria approximately 200 kilometers northeast of Damascus.
Tadmor prison was known for harsh conditions, extensive human rights abuse, torture and summary executions.
Tadmor Military Prison in Palmyra, Syria is known as one of the most oppressive prisons for a prisoner to serve time in the world.
Amnesty International has stated that “every aspect of it was designed to dehumanize its inhabitants.”
The most notorious event in the prison’s history was in June 1980. President Hafez al-Assad survived an attack on his life by the Muslim Brotherhood.
It was reported that he orders soldiers to execute every prisoner in sight in retaliation for the attack. Tadmor was closed down in 2001, but reopened in 2011. It is no less brutal today.
3. Diyarbakır Prison, Turkey
Diyarbakır Prison is a prison located in Diyarbakır, southeastern Turkey. It was established in 1980 as an E-type prison by the Ministry of Justice.
After the September 12, 1980 Turkish coup detat, the facility was transferred to military administration and became a Martial Law Military Prison.
Control of the prison was returned to the Ministry of Justice on May 8, 1988. The capacity of Diyarbakır E-type Prison is 744.
However, the prison is sometimes overcrowded. When the Human Rights Commission in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey GNAT visited the prison in October 1996 it had a capacity of 650 and was accommodating 942 prisoners.
Diyarbakır D-type prison, which is provided for political prisoners can hold 688 persons.
According to The Times, it is among the “ten most notorious jails in the world.” Between 1981 and 1984, 34 prisoners lost their lives.
In August, 2009, plans were announced to convert the facility into a school. The idea was criticized by Kurdish activists who wanted the prison to become a museum of human rights abuses.
Although construction on a larger prison outside of the city has already begun, no decision over what to do with the existing Diyarbakir prison has been made.
Kurdish activists and politicians find their plans for a human rights museum, known as the Museum of Shame, largely ignored by the state government.
As of now, Diyarbakır is still a functioning prison. After the military coup of 12 September 1980, the generals abolished parliament, suspended the Constitution and banned all political parties and trade unions, and most other organizations.
Tens of thousands of men and women were taken into custody. More than 30.000 were jailed in the first four months after the coup.
During the following years, Amnesty International received thousands of allegations of torture including reports of over 100 deaths as a result of torture.
Diyarbakır Prison became one of the most lasting symbols of the coup due to the reports of hundreds of prisoners being subjected to torture and execution.
Among Diyarbakırs better-known inmates are Democratic Society Party DTP leader Ahmet Turk; former DTP deputies Nurettin Yılmaz, Celal Paydas, and Mustafa Çakmak; former mayor Mehdi Zana; Kurdish writer and intellectual Orhan Miroğlu; and Kurdish poet Yılmaz Odabası.
Bedii Tan, the father of Kurdish writer Altan Tan lost his life in this prison as a result of torture.
2. La Sante Prison, France
Paris, France is the home of La Sante Prison. The prison is known as such a brutal place that many prisoners have taken their own lives over serving their sentence there.
1999 saw the suicides of 124 prisoners. The violence in the prison is so pervasive that the prisoners are only out of their cells four hours out of the day.
The prison’s system also creates a hierarchical structure that makes some prisoners more powerful than others and the conditions worse for the weaker prisoners.
1. Carandiru Penitentiary, Brazil
Carandiru Penitentiary in Brazil, South America is arguably the most violent and dangerous prison in world history. In 1992, a violent prison massacre occurred when 102 inmates were shot dead.
The prison is also known for terrible health problems. In the prison’s health wing, nearly one in five inmates has been diagnosed with HIV.
Drauzio Varella, a voluntary physician, in his book “Carandiru Station” mentioned his own experience and the dreadful condition over there. It has recorded 1300 deaths in its 46 years of history.
It was closed down in 2002. Surely it must have been the “worst” prison of the world due to which Amnesty International came forward and asked about the human rights violations act done in the prison, which the Brazilian government failed to answer.
Though this prison is termed as the top most among the worst prison of the world, the words are less to express the brutality experienced by the prisoners over here. Its history is well enough to tell the cruelty done by this prison.