Pro-Kurdish party calls for action for sick prisoners in Turkey
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) on Friday called for action over sick prisoners in Turkey and the worsening health of jailed HDP politician and former deputy, Aysel Tuğluk.
"Tuğluk was arrested on bogus 'terrorism charges' in December 2016. She is suffering from dementia, which has become severe over the course of her imprisonment," Feleknas Uca and Hişyar Özsoy, two HDP spokespersons, said in a statement received by Kurdistan 24.
On Dec. 24, HDP co-chair Pervin Buldan visited Aysel Tuğluk in Kandıra F Type Prison. Buldan found that Tuğluk is unable to meet her own needs, the HDP said. Moreover, a report of the Kocaeli University Faculty of Medicine concluded that she is not in a state to stay in prison.
According to human rights organizations, there are currently over 1,600 sick prisoners in Turkey. Their situation worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Ill-treatment is so pervasive that sick prisoners either leave prisons in coffins or lose their lives just a few days after their release," the HDP spokespersons said.
"Hundreds of other sick prisoners, like Aysel Tuğluk, are not granted release and have been left to die in prison on the basis of the politically motivated reports of the Forensic Medicine Institution," they added.
In recent weeks, there were a number of prisoner deaths, including Vedat Erkman on Dec 19, Ilyas Demir on Dec 17, Halil Gunes on Dec 15, and Abdulrezzak Suyur, another cancer patient, on Dec 15.
On Dec 9, Garibe Gezer, a 28-year-old Kurdish politician in the Kandıra Prison, was found dead in her cell while under solitary confinement.
"The prison administration said she had committed suicide. Gezer had previously reported that she was sexually abused and tortured by prison guards," the HDP said.
"We call on the international community, first and foremost the CPT (EU Committee for the Prevention of Torture) and other relevant organs of the Council of Europe, human rights commissioners of the CoE (Council of Europe) and the UN, human and women's rights organizations, and all friends and colleagues to take immediate action for Aysel Tuğluk and all sick prisoners and against this inhumane situation in Turkish prisons before it is too late."
Activists recently started a campaign called "A Call from 1000 Women for Freedom to Aysel Tuğluk". The campaign will be open for signatures until Jan 12, 2022, the news website Bianet reported.