Hundreds of critically ill patients at risk in Turkish prisons

Over 400 prisoners in Turkey are critically ill, and hundreds die each year, a report by the Human Rights Association has revealed.

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.

One of the most recently deceased was Koçer Özdal, who lost his life in intensive care at a hospital in Ankara on Monday.

Rights groups had campaigned for Özdal, a cancer patient, to be released from prison to receive treatment.

“65-year-old seriously ill prisoner Koçer Özdal lost his life with handcuffs in his hands and feet, in intensive care under inhumane conditions even without having the chance to bid farewell to his family,” Ayşe Acar Başaran, a deputy for the pro-Kurdish opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP), said in a statement about the incident.

Justice, human rights, universal legal norms aside, no person, institution or state with conscience should have shut their eyes to this preventable death. While 3 thousand 503 ill prisoners lost their lives in prisons, it is clear that the government is persistent in overlooking these deaths,” Başaran said.
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