Pregnant woman jailed on Gülen links taken to hospital due to health problems

A five-months-pregnant woman who was arrested and jailed on May 16 for alleged links to the Gülen movement despite regulations was taken for a visit to the hospital due to health problems, the Bold Medya news website reported.

In a telephone call to her husband, Ayşe Karaduman said the hospital doctors showed no interest in her and that she believed this was because she was an inmate. The young woman said she was taken to the hospital in a run-down van with no windows and felt even sicker by the time she arrived.

According to her husband, Mehmet Akif Karaduman, she suffers from extreme nausea, sickness, fatigue and difficulties using the stairs. The trip to the hospital made Karaduman’s nausea worse and she longer wants to go the hospital.

In a previous interview Mehmet Akif Karaduman had said his wife had lost two kilograms in one week. He requested that his wife be released immediately so she can be taken care of at home.

“It is already unacceptable that my wife is imprisoned during a pregnancy, but the conditions she was made to endure make it even more unacceptable,” said Karaduman’s husband. “She has experienced several health problems during her pregnancy, and prison conditions have aggravated these problems.”

The Law on the Execution of Sentences and Security Measures 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.”

Despite the regulations several pregnant women have recently been arrested for links to the movement.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, a faith-based group inspired by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-prime minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the abortive putsch or any terrorist activity.

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 had been arbitrarily detained or arrested over their suspected links to the Gülen movement.

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