55-year-old ailing inmate who completed prison sentence forced to serve 3 more months

Nesip Yapıcı, a 55-year-old ailing inmate who has been behind bars in Turkey for 12 and a half years, has been forced to serve three more months in prison despite the fact that he has completed his sentence, the Evrensel daily reported. 

Yapıcı, who was convicted of membership in the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), considered a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community, has laryngeal cancer and heart and kidney problems and also suffers from memory loss.

Yapıcı’s release was postponed for three months, although his sentence was completed on September 15, because he did not appear before the relevant prison administration board due to his poor health.

Yapıcı’s brother Cengiz said his family is concerned about his brother’s condition and called for his release.

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker and human rights defender Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu addressed the Turkish parliament, saying: “Yapıcı has cancer and cardiac insufficiency. He has been hospitalized many times. There’s no reason for postponing his release, but they came up with fake excuses and postponed it for three months!”

Yapıcı is being held in Seydişehir Prison in Turkey’s central Konya province.

According to the most recent statistics published by the Human Rights Foundation (İHD), the number of sick prisoners is in the thousands, more than 600 of whom are critically ill. Although most of the seriously ill patients have forensic and medical reports deeming them unfit to remain in prison, they are not released. Authorities refuse to free them on the grounds that they pose a potential danger to society.

A number of critically ill prisoners passed away in 2020 because they were not released in time to receive proper medical treatment. Three critically sick inmates died in the first three months of this year in prison.

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