Turkey’s Constitutional Court rules against sick prisoner’s release after his death

The Turkish Constitutional Court in December denied a request for the release of sick prisoner Celal Şeker, nine months after he passed away, the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya news agency reported on Thursday.

In its ruling the court concluded that the case for Şeker’s release was without merit despite his documented life-threatening health problems, ruling out any violation with respect to the state’s legal obligations.

Şeker’s lawyer had applied to the Constitutional Court within the framework of individual application legislation after having exhausted previous legal remedies that proved inconclusive for Şeker’s release and transfer to a hospital. The court had also rejected an initial request for an injunction against the execution of his sentence due to his health, ruling that the “applicant has access to health services.”

Lower courts had denied requests for Şeker’s release and a postponement of his sentence even though they were based on diagnoses by several hospitals that he was suffering from heart failure as well as chronic renal failure which together amounted to a critical condition.

The Council of Forensic Medicine, on the other hand, had issued a report that said Şeker’s imprisonment posed no life-threatening risks.

Şeker died from a heart attack in February 2018 while behind bars in the province of Diyarbakır. The Constitutional Court made its decision to reject the request and ruled that the applicant bear the costs of litigation nine months later. (turkishminute.com)

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