HDP lawmakers submit parliamentary question about pregnant women in Turkish prisons

Lawmakers from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) submitted a parliamentary question addressing the justice minister concerning pregnant women in Turkish prisons, the Bold Medya news website reported.

Deputies Züleyha Gülüm and Musa Piroğlu demanded to know why pregnant women were kept in prison despite the Law on the Execution of Sentences and Security Measures, which stipulates that even if a pregnant woman is convicted, her sentence shall be postponed.

According to the law, “execution of the prison sentence is delayed for women who are pregnant or have given birth within the last year and a half.”

Gülüm and Piroğlu pointed out that despite the regulations two pregnant women were recently arrested. Aslı Ünlü, 40, who is currently in a prison in western Edirne province despite a high risk pregnancy due to her age, was arrested in April and was recently diagnosed with cardiac dysrhythmia. Ceyda Nur Eroğlu, who is in the last weeks of her pregnancy, was arrested earlier this month and shares a cell with Ünlü.

“We see that Turkish authorities have been careless with the lives of women and their babies. These prison sentences are not fair,” they said.

The HDP deputies demanded to know why both women were arrested despite being at a critical time in their pregnancies. They asked if the ministry was ready to take responsibility if complications occurred with either woman. Finally, they asked if the ministry was working on a solution to accommodate the needs of mothers and their babies.

According to a report by Solidarity with OTHERS, as of November 2021 a total of 219 pregnant women and women with children under 6 years of age were arbitrarily detained or arrested over their suspected links to the Gülen movement.

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