Former political prisoner urges Turkish government to take action to support ill prisoners in Turkish jails after he lost sight in both eyes due to prison authorities negligence and appeals to the media to report negligence of prison authorities so ill prisoners can access medical support.
There are 1,605 ill prisoners in Turkey’s prisons, 604 of whom are seriously ill, according to Turkey’s Human Right Association (IHD) Prison Report by 2020.
According to the report, hundreds of prisoners are subjected to torture and ill-treatment, not able to reach heath services and denied their rights to communicate with the outside world.
Yusuf Bor is one of those prisoners. He lost the sight of both his eyes, because the prison administration at Van T Type Closed Prison prevented him from reaching proper health services and the necessary medical treatment he needed.
Having been detained in 2012 during a rally in Turkey’s eastern province of Van (Wan) organised by the Peace and Democracy Party, (BDP) a pro-Kurdish party which was active between 2008 to 2014, Bor was sent to jail on grounds that he “threw stones” during clashes with the police.
Bor was released after six months in prison, but years later a court again sentenced Bor to three years and nine months in prison.
On 10th November 2019, Bor was released from prison having lost sight in both of his eyes.
‘There were many days they did not deliver me my medicine. Despite our repeated requests, they did not take any prisoner to the hospital. I first lost the sight on my left eye, then my healthy right eye began to get worse,” he said explaining the lack of treatment in prison.
“Only when very high eye pressure affected my eye, they all begin to take notice. After my eyes worsened, they finally operated on me. However, it was too late, and I lost the sight of both my eyes as a result.”
Bor stressed that the mistreatment and inadequate health care in prison caused the deterioration of his chronic diseases and urged the Turkish authorities to release ill-prisoners.
“This negligence in prison cost me my eyes, I know other ill prisoners who continue to face similar mistreatment,” he said.