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62-year-old disabled inmate complains of neglect and poor prison conditions

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A 62-year-old disabled inmate said in a letter that his life in prison had become unbearable due to neglect and dismal conditions, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported on Monday, citing the Mezopotamya news agency (MA).

Aydın Çubukçu, who is almost totally disabled, suffers from a brain tumor and prostate and respiratory problems. He needs to take daily medication, which Çubukçu claims is not regularly provided. He added that doctors had prescribed a special diet for him which was not provided in prison.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic my treatment has been delayed, and I was not taken to the hospital,” he said. “This has caused my health to deteriorate.”

Çubukçu is currently in a prison in eastern Van province serving a 36-year sentence. The reason for his conviction was not disclosed.

Although he has a hospital report confirming his health problems, Çubukçu’s multiple requests to be released have been refused.

Human rights activists and opposition politicians have frequently criticized authorities for not releasing critically ill prisoners so they can seek proper treatment. Human rights defender and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu said ill prisoners were not released until they were at the point of no return.

According to the Human Rights Association (İHD), as of June 2020 there were more than 1,605 sick inmates in Turkish prisons, approximately 600 of whom were critically ill. Although most of the seriously ill patients had forensic and medical reports deeming them unfit to remain in prison, they were not released. Authorities refuse to free them on the grounds that they pose a potential danger to society. In the first eight months of 2020, five critically ill prisoners passed away because they were not released in time to receive proper medical treatment.

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