Turkish court released ill Kurdish prisoner after he died at hearing

70-year-old seriously ill prisoner Ibrahim Akbaba had a heart attack and lost his life while he was attending trial via closed-circuit camera system (SEGBİS) from prison in the western city of Edirne, pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya News Agency reported on Sunday. 

On the fourth hearing, Akbaba, a Kurdish citizen who was accused of being a member of a terrorist organisation, had a heart attack during the trial and was taken to a hospital. His trial continued and the court decided to release him after he lost his life at the hospital.

Akbaba, who had severe diabetes, previously underwent heart surgery and lost one of his legs as well due to diabetes.  He had a medical report showing that he was 90% disabled. He was not released despite his age, serious illness and disability report.

"In August, the court asked the prison administration for a new medical report. But the administration sent an old report to the court instead of bringing my father to a hospital for a new report. The court rejected to release my father based on the old medical report," Mezopotamya News Agency quoted Şehmuz Akbaba, the son of Ibrahim Akbaba, as saying. 

"The responsibility of my father's death belongs to authorities which kept an ill and old person in prison. The justice system of this government is responsible for his death," he added.
In July 2017, Akbaba took people who were hitchhiking to his vehicle while he was working as a truck driver. He was taken into custody together with the hitchhikers after a police road control. Later, he was arrested and sent to Edirne F-Type prison.

Hundreds of critically ill patients at risk in Turkish prisons. According to the report by the Human Rights Association, over 400 prisoners in Turkey are critically ill, and hundreds die each year.

The Ministry of Justice announced that 2,300 people have died in custody in the last eight years, but did not disclose the causes of death.