Woman in pretrial detention with newborn baby released on parole

Şeyma Tekin, a woman jailed pending trial who gave birth in January at a hospital in Erzurum and had to return to prison with her newborn baby, was released on parole on Thursday, human rights defender and lawmaker Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu announced on his Twitter account.

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.”

The doctors reportedly said baby Yusuf was not able develop properly in the jail and has a hole in his heart.  

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.

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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