Imprisoned Lice Co-mayor Rezan Zuğurli, who has been jailed since August 17, 2017, was reportedly transferred from Diyarbakır E Type Prison to Van T Type Prison together with her one-year-old sick baby in a high security prisoner transfer vehicle. Zuğurli’s husband Uğur Ataş said that they were not informed about the transfer at all and that they have learned about the transfer of his wife and his son from a prisoner just released from Van Prison.
Ataş stated that their one-year-old baby was also transferred together with his wife and said that “Our son Alîşer Robîn is ill. I would take him very cautiously from prison to hospital for his regular treatment. There’s a problem with his lungs. He cannot breath well. And being in closed rooms makes it harder for him to breath. They know all this well, yet they still drove our child in a high security prisoner transfer vehicle.”
Ataş has also voiced concerns over the health of their baby after the transfer, saying that “After learning about the incident, I went to the prison for clarification and they told me that they could not inform me due to the state of emergency.”
“With her penalty of less than two years, she shouldn’t have been transferred in this way. This is a completely arbitrary decision. My wife is an elected co-mayor and she is facing such practices,” said Ataş and added that he was allowed to see his baby once a week while in Diyarbakır and from now on he will be able to see his wife and baby only once a month.
Rezan Zuğurli was arrested in 2012 on the allegation of “committing an offense on behalf of a terrorist organisation without being a direct member.” After spending 13 months behind bars, Zuğurli was eventually released but sentenced afterwards to 4 years and 2 months in prison by Diyarbakır 2nd High Penal Court. After the final court ruling, she was arrested in Diyarbakır on August 17.
Turkish government has been criticized for stepping up a crackdown on Kurdish politicians. There are currently 10 HDP deputies behind bars in Turkey including Selahattin Demirtaş, the co-chair of the party. Trustees have been appointed to dozens of municipalities in the country’s predominantly Kurdish Southeast, while hundreds of local Kurdish politicians have been arrested on terror charges.