Makbule Ozer, an 80 year-old mother is in prison in Turkey on so-called charges of “aiding and abetting a terrorist organisation”. She has been denied an application for release made by her lawyers on grounds of her serious illness and deteriorating health. Ozer’s case was not reviewed at Forensic Medicine Institute (ATK) on the grounds of no Kurdish language translator being avaliable. Her family are fighting for her release and are concerned for her welfare behind bars, where she is denied the care she needs.
Ozer’s case is the latest example of increasing rights violations in Turkish prisons where the release of political prisoners are deliberately suspended. Some human rights advocates say that these are indeed “de-facto death sentences” on Kurdish political prisoners especially. They say that the numbers of prisoners who either die in the prisons or are released shortly before they die is growing in recent years.