Woman sent back to jail with newborn a day after delivery

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Ayşe Ateş

Ayşe Ateş, who was jailed when she was five months pregnant due to alleged links to the Gülen movement, gave birth at an İzmir hospital on Tuesday and was sent back to jail on Wednesday with her newborn baby.

While Ateş was at the hospital awaiting delivery, gendarmes waited in front of her room to prevent relatives from seeing her. Even the woman’s mother was not allowed to see the newborn infant.

After the birth of her baby, Ateş was sent back to Şakran Prison in İzmir where she has been incarcerated for four months.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu voiced criticism of the treatment received by Ateş with a message from his Twitter account on Wednesday.

“A.A. gave birth to a baby alone at a hospital with no relatives given a chance to see her. The baby’s grandmother was not even allowed to see the infant in another room. The 1-day-old baby was taken back to the prison. A.A. has not been convicted. She has not even stood trial. Such acts of cruelty have never before been recorded in our history,” Tanrıkulu tweeted, addressing Turkey’s Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül.

After a military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement despite the strong denials of Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, and movement supporters.

Erdoğan 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.

More than 17,000 women in Turkey, many with small children, have been jailed in an unprecedented crackdown and subjected to torture and ill treatment in detention centers and prisons as part of the government’s systematic campaign of intimidation and persecution of critics and opponents, a report titled “Jailing Women In Turkey: Systematic Campaign of Persecution and Fear” released in April by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) revealed.

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