Human Rights Association of Turkey reports that there are over a thousand ill prisoners in Turkey’s jails, 457 of whom are seriously ill.
One of those seriously ill-prisoners is Mehmet Emin Özkan, who is 83 years old.
Currently jailed in Diyarbakır D-Type Prison in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakır (Amed), Özkan has not been released despite serious health problems he suffers.
Early on Monday morning, his health deteriorated so badly that he needed to be taken to a hospital for an urgent medical check.
On his transfer to Gazi Yaşargil Training and Research Hospital, Özkan was subjected to a serious human rights violation, MA reports.
New video footage revealed that the elderly ill-prisoner was handcuffed and escorted on foot to the gates of the hospital.
It appeared that Özkan was not even able to walk easily, but he was forced to walk by the guards.
The mistreatment continued in the hospital when Özkan was handcuffed to the hospital bed.
“My father is elderly and his health is at serious risk, he needs a wheechair to move around, yet he was handcuffed to the bed. Such a treatment cannot be accepted,” said her daughter Selma Özkan.
It was the fifth time that the sick inmate Özkan was transferred to a hospital within eight days as he was taken to hospital also on May 17,18,19,20 and 24.
“My father has a hypertension problem now. He is coming back and forth between the hospital and prison for days now. As they handcuffed my father to the bed, he rejected the medical treatment, then he was brought back to the prison,” Selma Özkan told MA.
After his refusal to be treated chained to a hospital bed, Özkan was returned back to his prison cell. The prison administration reportedly told the family his “condition is OK,” but with increasingly detoriating health, the ill-prisoner’s condition is far from being OK and his family calls for his immediate release and medical treatment compatible with human dignity.
Özkan was sentenced to prison for life on the grounds of the murder of Bahtiyar Aydın, Diyarbakır Gendarmerie Regional Commander who was killed on October 22, 1993 in Lice district of Diyarbakır.
Having spent the 25 years of his life in jail, Özkan has had a heart attack five times and had angio operations four times in prison.
He suffers from extreme weight loss due to kidney and intestine disorders and he also has amnesia and loss in his sight and hearing.
His lawyers and family have been demanding Özkan’s release due to his health condition for years, yet applications for his release have been rejected by Turkish authorities.