9-month-pregnant woman imprisoned over Gülen links despite regulations

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A nine-month-pregnant woman was sent to prison on Thursday, in contravention of regulations, to serve a sentence for conviction of links to the Gülen movement, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported, citing the Bold Medya news website.

Ceyda Nur Eroğlu is currently nine months pregnant with her first child, and at her last court hearing expressed her fear of giving birth in prison. “I’ve seen the situation of babies in prison, and I’m afraid I will have to raise my child while incarcerated,” she said.

The Law on the Execution of Sentences and Security Measures stipulates that even if a pregnant woman is convicted, her sentence shall be postponed. According to the law, “execution of the prison sentence is delayed for women who are pregnant or have given birth within the last year and a half.”

Eroğlu was sentenced to six years, three months and sent to a prison in western Turkey’s Edirne province. Her husband is also currently in prison for links to the movement.

Although Eroğlu attempted to flee Turkey at one point in search of a safer life, she was unable to due to complications in her pregnancy.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, a faith-based group inspired by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-prime minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the abortive putsch or any terrorist activity.

According to a report by Solidarity with OTHERS, as of November 2021 a total of 219 pregnant women and women with children under 6 years of age were arbitrarily detained or arrested over their suspected links to the Gülen movement.

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