Health of 4 prisoners on hunger strike quickly deteriorating

The Human Rights Association called for action as four ill prisoners face death.

The Human Rights Association (IHD) Istanbul Branch Prison Commission warned over the conditions of political prisoners Ergin Aktaş, Dicle Bozan, Yusuf Bulut and Ehmedi Xami, who are on hunger strike since 20 April in Izmir Menemen R Type Prison.

At a press conference at the IHD Branch offices, Mehmet Acettin, a member of the İHD Istanbul Prison Commission, made a statement on behalf of the Commission.

Talking about the health situation of the prisoners, Acettin said: “Ergin Aktaş has one arm only to the elbow, and he doesn’t have the other hand. In addition, patients with COPD are kept in single-cell after the implementation of the Emergency State (OHAL) despite reports saying they should not be left alone. Dicle Bozan, has no leg and wounds on the other and on the intestine. In addition, he required surgery in the intestines, but the operation has not been performed. Yusuf Bulut, born in 1950, is suffering from bowel cancer and is bound to a bed. Ehmedi Xami, born in 2000 is paralyzed and bound to a wheelchair”.

Acettin repeated the demands of prisoners and added: “Surgery and medical attention must be secured. Prison conditions must be improved. Long waiting times for medical tests must be shortened. As advocates of human rights, - Acettin said - we ask for these demands to be met in order to prevent the further deterioration of the health condition of these prisoners, whose life is at risk every passing day”.

Lawyer Gülizar Tuncer said that Menemen R Type Prison did not meet the needs of the prisoners, and that in fact ill prisoners in that jail face unbearable conditions.

Tuncer said: “Unfortunately we know that systematic torture is common in prisons. Here we are in the presence of four seriously ill prisoners who are met with a very hostile environment and are not given the necessary care. They are even refused transfer to better equipped prisons, thus being denied even the most basic right. And they have embarked on a indefinite hunger strike, risking their life every passing day”.