75-year-old woman imprisoned for solidarity with prisoners suffers from deteriorating health

Hatice Yıldız, an ailing 75-year-old woman who had been sentenced to four years on charges of “financing a terrorist organization” because she sent money to her jailed daughter and her cellmate, has reportedly been suffering from a declining state of health after falling ill in prison, the Artı Gerçek news website reported.

Her son Alper Yıldız has emphasized his mother’s worsening health issues in recent weeks.

Reflecting on his last visit, Yıldız noted his mother’s difficulty in speaking and frequent loss of consciousness. He condemned her treatment as inhumane, saying, “Turkey condemns other countries for ‘violence,’ yet commits the same oppression. This has nothing to do with law or humanity. Remaining silent in the face of this is heartless.”

Alper Yıldız has called for his mother’s immediate release, citing her deteriorating health. “End this injustice. What harm could my mother possibly do if she were released? Have some compassion; we urgently request her release,” he said.

Alper Yıldız criticized previous reports from the Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK) which stated that she was fit to remain in prison and expressed doubt about the impartiality of the ATK’s decision, suggesting it was influenced by factors beyond the doctors’ control. “If it were up to the doctors, it would be wrong to keep such an elderly person in prison for even an hour,” he said.

Hatice Yıldız was sentenced to 4 years, two months in prison for allegedly providing financial support to a terrorist organization by sending money to her jailed daughter and her cellmate.

The reason for her daughter’s incarceration was not mentioned in the Turkish media reports, but Yıldız’s verdict indicates that her daughter was convicted of “terrorism.”

Following the upholding of her sentence by the Supreme Court of Appeals, Yıldız was taken from her home on a stretcher and imprisoned on March 23, despite suffering from severe problems including dementia, hypertension and osteoporosis.

Turkey’s anti-terror legislation is widely criticized for being too broad and leaving too much room for interpretation and used against political opponents of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

In recent years the ATK, the agency consulted for its medical expertise in the cases of sick prisoners, has been accused of issuing questionable reports that found ailing inmates fit to remain behind bars. Prominent Turkish human rights advocates have accused the institution of having lost all independence from the government.

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