Woman calls for release of stage 4 cancer patient husband from jail

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Özgür Doğan with his children

The wife of 42-year-old teacher Özgür Doğan, who was arrested due to his alleged links to the Gülen movement, has called for the immediate release of her husband, who is a stage 4 cancer patient, Bold Medya reported on Monday.

Doğan, who was jailed in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in July 2016, has been behind bars for 35 months in İzmir’s Kırıklar Prison. In March of this year he was diagnosed with lung cancer, which according to his wife quickly spread to other parts of his body.

Doğan’s wife Seyhan tweeted that her husband is not being released from prison although he is a terminal cancer patient. She said the courts were awaiting a medical report from the Council of Forensic Medicine to release her husband from prison although he has a committee report from the İzmir Katip Çelebi Research Hospital confirming his condition.

Doğan has been receiving chemotherapy at the Katip Çelebi hospital since July 31. 

Seyhan Doğan, who is also a teacher but was removed from her job by the government due to Gülen links, said her husband cannot receive proper treatment and that prison conditions are making his condition worse. She said her husband has lost 13 kilograms in jail, dropping from 66 kilograms to 53.

Ahmet Doğan, a Turkish language teacher of 16 years, was removed from his post and jailed in September 2016 on terrorism charges due to his alleged links to the Gülen movement. He was given a prison sentence of eight years nine months a year and a half after his incarceration on charges of membership in a terrorist organization. His dossier is currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court of Appeals.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

Following the coup attempt, the Turkish government launched a massive crackdown on followers of the movement under the pretext of an anti-coup fight as a result of which more than 130,000 people were removed from state jobs while in excess of 30,000 others were jailed and some 600,000 people have been investigated on allegations of terrorism.

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