Inmate on hunger strike in Turkish prison claims doctors falsified medical report

An inmate who started a hunger strike in December 2021 has claimed hospital doctors issued a false medical report for him, the Bianet news website reported.

Gokhan Yıldırım said the Tekirdağ state hospital in western Turkey had issued a medical report in which it said that despite his hunger strike, he had continued eating chocolates, crackers and other sweet snacks. The report also said he had lost approximately 30 kilos but was fit to remain in prison.

Yıldırım’s lawyers said the report was false and that the Ministry of Justice, which was closely monitoring his situation, was completely aware that Yıldırım was not eating.

“These doctors should be investigated for malpractice,” said Yıldırım’s lawyers. “They have falsified documents and jeopardized the health of our client.”

They added that Yıldırım had not consumed anything other  than salt, water and vitamin B since he started the hunger strike.

Yıldırım started a hunger strike with fellow inmate Sibel Balaç. He is currently in Tekirdağ F-Type Prison and suffers from damaged veins, rashes and insomnia.

In a previous statement the Ankara Medical Chamber had said both inmates’ health had deteriorated and called on the Ministry of Justice to take the necessary steps to end the hunger strike.

“The drastic weight change in both inmates indicates the beginnings of serious health problems,” representatives from the medical chamber said. “We worry that these inmates will continue their hunger strike to the point of no return. The ministry needs to work out a way to address the inmates’ demands so they can end their strike immediately.”

Balaç and Yıldırım have demanded fair trials. They have also called for the release of critically ill prisoners and an end to arbitrary disciplinary punishment in prison. The two inmates further requested unlimited access to books and magazines.

The charges against Balaç and Yıldırım were not disclosed; however, both inmates demanded their release.

Yıldırım’s brother, Gökhan Yıldırım, said he would not abandon his hunger strike until his demands were met. “My brother is very sick, but all he wants is justice,” said Gökhan Yıldırım. “As his family we want his voice to be heard and this injustice to end.”

In an earlier interview, Yıldırım’s family said he only wanted to live as a dignified human being in prison.

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