Man with stage 4 cancer not released despite medical report citing imminent health risk

Bekir Aydın, 63, has not been released from prison despite a medical report saying he could not stay in prison due to stage 4 lung cancer, Bold Medya reported.

Aydın was arrested in 2016 and is currently in a prison in northern Turkey’s Amasya province. He was issued a report by a hospital saying his sentence should be postponed for a year so he could seek proper treatment. His son and lawyer, Mehmet Akif Aydın, said although he appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeals a month ago, they still had no answer.

Mehmet Akif Aydın said on Twitter that he was afraid his father would die in prison. According to his son, Aydın contracted COVID-19 in prison four months ago and was hospitalized.

Mehmet Akif Aydın said his father was innocent but did not share any details about his case.

Bekir Aydın’s health report.

The plight of critically ill prisoners has been subject of criticism by activists and opposition politicians.

Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a prominent human rights activist and a deputy from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), has depicted the deaths of critically ill prisoners in Turkey who are not released in time to receive proper medical treatment as acts of “murder” committed by the state.

“The ruling party is the murderer and state institutions along with the Ministry of Justice involved in this evil are accomplices to the crime,” he said.

Gergerlioğlu added that during and after a state of emergency declared in the aftermath of a failed coup on July 15, 2016 human right abuses in prisons peaked.

According to the most recent statistics published by the Human Rights Association (İHD), the number of sick prisoners is in the thousands, more than 600 of whom are critically ill. Although most of the seriously ill patients have forensic and medical reports deeming them unfit to remain in prison, they are not released. Authorities refuse to free them on the grounds that they pose a potential danger to society.

A number of critically ill prisoners passed away in 2020 because they were not released in time to receive proper medical treatment.

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