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Court denies request for release of ailing 78-year-old woman

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A local court has rejected 78-year-old Sisê Bingöl’s appeal for release due to multiple illnesses on the grounds that none of her ailments are life threatening, BBC Turkish service reported on Monday.

Bingöl has been diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure and lung, kidney and uterine diseases and is incarcerated in Muş Prison.

“Her health problems have worsened in the last months, but she has no more energy or desire to fight the court decision,” Bingöl’s lawyer said.

Bingöl was first arrested in a village in Muş province over allegations of “membership in a terrorist organization” in April 2016 and released after three months pending trial due to deteriorating health.

She was sentenced to four years, two months in prison for “knowingly and willfully helping a terrorist organization” in April 2017 and sent to prison along with her son, who was tried on the same charges.

During her stay in prison Bingöl was referred to the Tarsus State Hospital where she received a doctor’s report saying her illnesses were not life threatening and that her medical condition did not preclude her from remaining in prison.

Calling the health report “medically inadequate and unethical,” Bingöl’s lawyer, Gülşen Özbek, said they wanted to take the case to the Council of Forensic Medicine but that Bingöl is tired of the trouble of going to hospitals.

“We have been trying so hard for the last year, and we have nothing. Either she or her dead body will come out of that prison in seven years’ time,” Bingöl’s daughter said.

There are 1,154 sick prisoners in Turkish jails, 402 of them in serious condition, the Human Rights Association announced at a press conference last week in Diyarbakır.

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