Woman with high risk pregnancy jailed over Gülen links

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Esra Uymaz Saral

A young woman who is 18 weeks pregnant and has a risk of miscarriage has been arrested in the western province of İzmir due to her alleged links to the Gülen movement, according to an opposition deputy.

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

The news about Esra Uymaz Saral’s arrest was tweeted by Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a deputy from the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and a prominent human rights activist.

Gergerlioğlu posted a message he received from Saral’s husband, who said: “My wife, Esra Uymaz Saral, was arrested in İzmir today. She is 18 weeks pregnant and has a 10 centimeter myoma [in the uterus]. She has a risk of miscarriage. Her doctor told her not to do even minor chores at home. And weeks 18 to 24 are risky due to the myoma.”

Gergerlioğlu shared the husband’s message with a note, saying, “The country where pregnant woman are arrested every day is Turkey.”

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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