Woman with history of diabetic comas rearrested over alleged Gülen links

Züleyha Doğru, 31, was rearrested today on charges of links to the faith-based Gülen movement despite having lapsed into a diabetic coma twice during her previous detention, Bold Media reported.

Doğru was put in a solitary cell in a prison in eastern Iğdır province. Her family said they are worried that no one will notice if she were to slip into a coma again.

Doğru was initially arrested in May 2018 for alleged links to the Gülen movement. Her son was only two years old at the time, and the stress from being separated from him caused her already fragile health to worsen.

Although Doğru was released pending trial two months later, she was eventually sentenced to eight years, six months. Her husband, Orhan Doğru, who was also arrested on similar charges, was sentenced to 10 years and is still in prison.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-Prime Minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. Erdoğan intensified the crackdown on the movement following a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the abortive putsch or any terrorist activity.

Human rights activists and opposition politicians have frequently criticized authorities for not releasing critically ill prisoners, so they can seek proper treatment. Human rights defender and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, said ill prisoners were released when the authorities realize they will die soon. He said this was especially the case for prisoners arrested on politically motivated charges

Critics have also criticized the government for excluding political prisoners from an early parole law passed on April 14, 2020, aimed at reducing the inmate population of the country’s overcrowded prisons due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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