Turkish authorities deny 81-year-old man release from prison despite health problems

Turkish authorities have denied an elderly man release from prison despite his age and multiple health problems, the Mezopotamya news agency reported.

Sıddık Güler, 81, who suffers from high blood pressure and rheumatism and is unable to walk, has been in prison for the last 26 years on an unidentified conviction. His daughter Ayşe Güler said her father had contracted COVID-19 in prison a few months ago. She added that her father needed constant care due to his multiple health problems, which was very difficult to sustain during the pandemic.

Ayşe Güler has appealed to authorities for the release of her father so he can receive proper care.

According to the Human Rights Association (IHD), there are more than 1,605 sick prisoners in Turkish prisons, approximately 604 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. In the first eight months of 2020, five critically ill prisoners passed away because they were not released in time to receive proper medical treatment.

Turkish authorities have been criticized for continuing the imprisonment of the old and chronically sick.

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

Since April 2020 four seriously ill prisoners over the age of 70 have died in penal institutions; five inmates suffering from cancer died shortly after they were released; and 16 died of chronic illnesses while imprisoned.

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