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Turkish court jails yet another pregnant purge victim over Gülen links

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Twenty-nine-year-old Serpil Özmermer, who was purged from her job as a civil servant at Turkey’s Justice Ministry following a 2016 failed coup in Turkey, has been jailed while in her fourth month of pregnancy, the Bold Medya news website reported.

Özmermer is among the more than 130,000 civil servants who were removed from their jobs through government decrees following the coup attempt due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding the failed coup. The movement strongly denies any involvement in the failed putsch.

“My wife is four months pregnant, and she has pregnancy-related complications,” the woman’s husband, H. Özmermer, told Bold Medya, adding that they also have a 4-year-old son who needs his mother.

Serpil Özmermer, who was indicted earlier this year, has been regularly attending the hearings in her trial, but the court decided to arrest her on Dec.19 on the grounds that she presents a flight risk.

She was sent to Şakran Prison in İzmir.

Özmermer had been working at the Justice Ministry since 2012. She was removed from her job by a government decree in 2016.

Turkish law requires postponement of the arrest of pregnant women until they give birth and the infant reaches the age of six months.

Since the failed coup, Turkey has been conducting a massive witch-hunt against people from all walks of life on charges of “coup involvement” due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement. Many women have been jailed with their young children, immediately after delivery or while pregnant.

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