Inmate suffering from stage four cancer in Kandıra Prison unable to see doctor for 8 months

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An inmate with stage four cancer cannot access proper healthcare and has not been taken to a hospital for the past eight months, according to Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu.

According to a report by the Stockholm Center for Freedom, Gergerlioğlu said during a press conference in the Turkish Parliament on Saturday that it was unacceptable for inmates to be deprived of proper healthcare. “I am a physician, and I cannot accept that a patient in such critical condition could not see a doctor for eight months,” he said.

Gergerlioğlu said the condition of the inmate, Ahmet Dizlek, who is incarcerated in Kandıra Prison in Kocaeli province, had worsened and that his cancer had metastasized. “Inmates are vulnerable,” said Gergerlioğlu. “They are alone in the system, and this is why they are often subjected to rights violations.”

Gergerlioğlu said he had submitted a parliamentary question addressing the Ministry of Justice concerning the condition of sick inmates.

Adding that some of these inmates were eligible for parole, Gergerlioğlu said especially in the case of political prisoners parole was not granted. Some inmates also had close family members suffering from chronic and critical sicknesses and their prolonged stay in prison caused even more suffering.

One inmate in Afyon Prison arrested on terrorism charges was denied parole despite having a wife with bipolar disorder taking care of their children alone. Another inmate whose parents have cancer was also denied parole despite being eligible since June.

According to statistics published by the Human Rights Association (İHD), there are currently 1,605 sick prisoners in Turkish prisons, 604 of whom are critically ill. Although most of the seriously ill patients have forensic and medical reports deeming them unfit to remain in prison, they are not released. Authorities refuse to free them on the grounds that they pose a potential danger to society.

Turkish authorities have denied political prisoners, even those with critical illnesses, release from prison so they can at least seek proper treatment. Human rights activists and opposition politicians have frequently criticized the authorities for not releasing critically ill prisoners.

Gergerlioğlu earlier said ill prisoners were not released until they were at the point of no return. He claimed that prisoners did not have access to proper healthcare facilities such as hospitals or infirmaries.

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