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Pregnant Turkish inmate suffers anxiety attack after being denied medication

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Esra Uymaz Saral, a 27-year-old Turkish woman who was arrested in İzmir when she was four and-a-half-months pregnant, has reportedly suffered an anxiety attack in prison after authorities denied her medication that she needs, the Bold news website reported.

Saral had to be taken to a doctor’s office twice in the course of a single week, according to the report.

“She is on a specific medication that is relatively expensive. The government does not cover it. Prison officials said they would give her some other medication instead, but it has not yet arrived,” Saral’s lawyer said.

She also has myoma, a muscle tumor that renders the labor particularly risky, according to the report. However, Saral’s lawyer said that doctors refused to request her release, stating that there is no impending condition preventing stay in prison.

At least three other pregnant inmates are held in Şakran Prison in the western port city, namely Emine Büşra İbişoğlu and Serpil Özmermer, who are five months pregnant, and Elif Tuğral who is eight months pregnant.

The lawyer said these other inmates have stopped writing petitions as they have lost hope.

Saral had just completed her internship to become a lawyer. She studied law at Gediz University, which was shut down over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement in the aftermath of a failed coup in 2016.

The Turkish government accuses the movement of masterminding the coup, although it denies any involvement in it.

Turkish authorities have investigated over half a million people and imprisoned tens of thousands for alleged links to the group, including lawyers, doctors, judges, prosecutors and academics as well as people from other walks of life.

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