Turkish hospital defends treatment of inmate in handcuffs

A hospital in Ankara has claimed that the treatment of an inmate in handcuffs was “compatible with medical requirements and needs,” the Bianet news website reported.

The hospital released the statement in response to a complaint filed by an inmate named Rihan Kavak Özbek, who on Oct. 11 visited the facility and was forced to undergo treatment while in handcuffs.

Özbek had filed a complaint requesting an investigation into the officials involved. She said the treatment was incompatible with human dignity.

The medical treatment of inmates in handcuffs is a frequent practice in Turkey, especially in the case of political prisoners. In a number of instances, inmates are denied treatment and returned to their wards for refusing to undergo treatment in handcuffs.

The practice is viewed as one of the ways for Turkish authorities to exacerbate the persecution of political prisoners, such as the strip-searches, restrictions on communication privileges and denial of parole on arbitrary grounds.

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