Human rights associations issue statement demanding paralyzed inmate’s release from prison

A total of 14 human rights organizations, including the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV), the Human Rights Association (İHD) and the Independent Lawyers Association (ÖHD) issued a statement today calling for the release of paralyzed inmate Abdullah Turan from İstanbul’s Metris Prison, Bold Medya reported.

The statement said Turan should be released immediately considering the fragile state of his health.

Turan was paralyzed after he suffered brain trauma during a hunger strike when he was imprisoned in northwestern Trabzon province. He was protesting the isolation of jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Öcalan, who for a time was denied any visitors to his island prison. Turan was later moved to Metris Prison.

Turkey’s Constitutional Court has denied Turan release from prison despite a medical report stating that his health rendered him unfit to remain in a penal institution.

Turan’s health has twice taken a turn for the worse since his paralysis, the second time on November 24, when he was taken to a hospital for a short stay.

The statement said Turan needed medical attention in a fully equipped hospital. “Turan is still frequently vomiting and experiencing vertigo. He has lost conscious several times, and the prison infirmary staff needs to check on him every 15 minutes,” it said.

The statement also emphasized that according to international agreements and domestic law, the state has the responsibility to ensure the well-being and security of inmates.

Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a human rights activist and an MP from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), slammed the authorities’ refusal to release critically ill prisoners. He said critically ill political prisoners were not released from prison “until it reaches the point of no return.” He depicted the deaths of seriously ill prisoners in Turkey who are not released in time to receive proper medical treatment as acts of “murder” committed by the state.

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