An inmate in Adana province has filed a complaint against the Ministry of Justice, saying he has not been given his medication for chronic Crohn’s disease for the last two months.
In a letter to Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy and human rights defender Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, Fatih Özgür Aydın, 40, said he had been repeatedly sending petitions to get his medication but to no avail.
Aydın said he had been treated for Crohn’s disease for 15 years and risked developing colon cancer without proper treatment. “If anything happens to me, the Ministry of Justice and the prison administration are the ones responsible,” he said.
Aydın was editor of left-wing journal the Public Laborers Front (Kamu Emekçileri Cephesi Dergisi). He was arrested in 2017 for alleged membership in the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), a militant Marxist group, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
According to the journal, Aydın was actually arrested for showing solidarity with the Kurdish people, who have been victims of increasing hate crimes and violence.
Many prisoners have complained about not being able to receive proper healthcare in prison. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic inmates were not taken to the hospital, delaying the diagnoses and treatment of serious illnesses.
Gergerlioğlu, criticized authorities for not releasing critically ill prisoners until it is too late for them to receive effective treatment.
“They refuse to release the prisoners until it gets to the point of no return. They only release the prisoners when they realize they’ll die soon, not wanting them to die in prison,” he said.