Visually-impaired journalist Arat, jailed for 7 months, denied access to Braille books in Turkish prison

Visually impaired Turkish journalist Cüneyt Arat.

Visually impaired Turkish journalist Cüneyt Arat, under arrest over alleged ties to the Gülen movement since July 2017, has said in a letter that he was denied access to Braille books as well as audio-described movies.

Arat was sentenced on Feb. 22, 2017 to 6 years 3 months in prison on charges of membership to the Gülen movement while also getting 10 months and 15 days of jail time for allegedly promoting a “terrorist” organization. He was put behind bars after an upper court upheld one of his convictions, on July 10, 2017.

Cüneyt Arat, who is 90 percent visually disabled, stated that he was sent to Tarsus Prison for the first time and later transferred to Mersin E-type Closed Prison.

“They have yet to give me my Braille books, audio-described movies and my talking clock,” said a script from his letter, posted on his Twitter account on Feb 3. Arat said he has 90-percent vision loss and that he had someone else to type the letter for him.

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by the SCF has showed that 245 journalists and media workers are in jails as of January 24, 2018, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 218 are arrested pending trial, only 27 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 140 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the Gülen movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the controversial coup attempt. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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