Yet another sick Turkish prisoner dies under custody because of negligence, maltreatment

Yet another sick prisoner, Celal Şeker, has lost his life because of negligence and maltreatment of the authorities in Turkey which is under the rule of Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) government led by autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday.

It was reported by online news outlet TR724 that Celal Şeker, who was not released from Diyarbakır D Type Closed Prison by Turkish authorities despite of the reports on his critical health conditions, has lost his life on Saturday morning.

The medical reports have showed that Şeker’s health has been in critical conditions. Since his illness makes Şeker “96 percent disabled,” the doctors has reported that he has not been eligible to stay in prison. However, all applications for release of Şeker from prison were reportedly rejected by the legal authorities.

TR724 has written that Celal Şeker, who was referred to the Gazi Yaşargil Training and Research Hospital  in Diyarbakır after he has experienced a strong heart attack on January 19, 2018, has been struggling for his life in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital since then.

According to the report, all appeals made by the voluntary lawyers of  Turkey’s Human Rights Association (İHD) for the release of Şeker have been refused by the authorities and the lawyers had appealed to the Constitutional Court as the last resort. However, the Constitutional Court has also rejected the request for his release from the prison on the grounds that “the applicant had access to health services.”

The body of Celal Şeker, was reportedly received by his family members from the morgue on Saturday morning and transferred to Muş province for funeral service.

Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has reported in one of its studies titled “Suspicous Deaths and Suicides In Turkey” that there has been an increase in the number of suspicious deaths in Turkey, most in Turkish jails and detention centers where a torture and ill-treatment is being practiced. In most cases, authorities concluded these as suicides without any effective, independent investigation.

The suspicious death has also taken place beyond the prison walls amid psychological pressure and threats of imminent imprisonment and torture, sometimes following the release of suspects or just before the detention. SCF has compiled 102 cases of suspicious death and suicides in Turkey in a list in a searchable database format.(SCF with

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Interior Minister announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665  people have been arrested. Previously, on December 13, 2017, The Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

A total of 48,305 people were arrested by courts across Turkey in 2017 over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, said Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Dec. 2, 2018. “The number of detentions is nearly three times higher,” Soylu told a security meeting in İstanbul and claimed that “Even these figures are not enough to reveal the severity of the issue.”

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