Ailing 68-year-old in Turkey dies 29 days after release

Cemal Tanhan (Photo: Mezopotamya news agency - MA)

Cemal Tanhan, a 68-year-old man who was incarcerated in northwestern Turkey despite severe health problems, died 29 days after his release, the Mezopotamya news agency reported.

Already suffering from high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure and hearing loss, Tanhan was recently struck with paralysis after a stroke.

Last April he was found fit to remain in prison by the Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK). He also made four applications with parliamentary human rights bodies for his release in 2023, all of which were rejected.

Imprisoned for the last 29 years, he was allegedly subjected to mistreatment in the past which the reports say was connected to the health problems he later developed.

The government agency consulted for its medical expertise in the cases of sick prisoners, the ATK has in recent years drawn criticism for its questionable reports finding ailing inmates fit to remain in prison. Turkey’s prominent human rights advocates accuse the institution of having lost its independence from the government.

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