UPDATE: Woman in pretrial detention gives birth, returns to prison with newborn baby

Şeyma Tekin, who has been in pretrial detention for about three months, gave birth last week at a hospital in Erzurum and returned to prison with her newborn baby, Yusuf, human rights defender Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu reported.

Gergerlioğlu previously said that that nobody was seeing to her needs at the hospital, neither a hospital attendant nor a family member.

The doctors reportedly said baby Yusuf was not able develop properly in the jail and has a hole in his heart. The baby’s grandfather on Twitter called it a massive injustice.

Tekin was arrested when she was five-and-a-half-months pregnant for using the ByLock smartphone app, essentially the same kind of application as WhatsApp, Skype, Signal and Blackberry Messenger, despite the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) clearly stating that “the punishment for pregnant women shall not be executed.”

There are currently more than 700 children in Turkish prisons, the mothers of whom are for the most part in pre-trial detention and not yet convicted of a crime.

The imprisonment of pregnant women and unlawful treatment of unborn babies are part of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement.

Last month, the parent of three small children was detained for allegedly dealing drugs by police in the Sarıyer district of İstanbul. The court arrested the father, but the mother was released on probation on the grounds that the children needed their mother, the state-run TRT 1 TV station reported.

report published by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) revealed the absurd pretexts used by prosecutors to indict suspects and judges to jail innocent people who are alleged to have been affiliated with the Gülen movement. The report finds that the fundamental principles of the rule of law, such as “nulla poena sine lege,” meaning that one cannot be punished for doing something not prohibited by law, have widely and systematically been violated.

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