Former top court judge’s daughter says father kept in solitary confinement for 3 years

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Hüsamettin Uğur, a former top court judge, with his daughters during a prison visit.

Nalan Dilara Uğur, the daughter of Hüsamettin Uğur, a former judge at Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals, has claimed that her father, who was jailed in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016, has been kept in solitary confinement for three years, the Kronos news website reported.

Uğur is among the hundreds of judicial members who were arrested in the aftermath of the coup attempt as part of a massive purge launched by the Turkish government under the pretext of an anti-coup fight.

In February the former judge was given a jail sentence of 10 years, six months on charges of membership in a terrorist organization due to his alleged links to the Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding the coup attempt. The movement strongly denies any involvement.

According to Uğur’s daughter, the former judge, who is in Kırıkkale’s Keskin Prison, has been submitting petitions to the prison administration and the prosecutor’s office about the inhumane prison conditions he has been subjected to for three years, but none of his petitions have received a response.

When the judge asks about the fate of his petitions even months later, the relevant authorities tell him they have not seen any such petitions, the daughter said.

Uğur was detained on July 18, three days after the July 15 coup attempt in 2016 and was arrested on July 21. He spent the first three months of his incarceration in Sincan Prison in Ankara in a cell he shared with others. Later, he was transferred to Keskin Prison, where he has been kept in solitary confinement for three years.

The daughter said her father is also subjected to some arbitrary bans and restrictions in prison. She said Uğur does not always have access to running water or food from the cafeteria and that the heat is not turned on in cold weather.

Nalan Dilara also talked about an appeal her father made for his former colleagues who were either released from prison following a certain time of imprisonment or fled abroad to avoid government persecution.  She said her father condemns all of those judicial members who keep silent about their jailed former colleagues and forgot them in prison.

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