No release for 75-year-old ill political prisoner Elbi

The health situation of 75-year-old political prisoner Ferzende Elbi is getting worse every day. The peace activist is now in a wheelchair and can no longer look after himself. Nevertheless, he is refused release.

75-year-old political prisoner Ferzende Elbi was sentenced to life imprisonment for his peace work. He was one of those who were involved as “old and wise” people in the peace process before 2015. Elbi was also one of the activists who worked in reconciliation commissions in Iğdır (Reşqelas) to promote understanding among the population. For this, he was sentenced to life imprisonment along with three other alleged members of the Peace Commission in 2021 for “membership of the PKK-KCK” and “separatism”.

Ferzende Elbi is in custody in Eskişehir, about 1,500 kilometers from his hometown. He is now in a wheelchair and can no longer look after himself. Nevertheless, he is refused release.

Relatives: “Elbi must be released immediately”

Elbi’s brother, Halit, said: “My brother is 75 years old. He suffers from age-related problems. He has vision and hearing problems. He has frequent nosebleeds due to his high blood pressure. New hernias and similar problems arise all the time. This is all in his medical reports. Therefore, given his health problems and age, we have called for his release. We have repeatedly contacted the Ministry of Justice, but we have not even received a response.”

Elbi added: “We call on the Ministry of Justice to find solutions for all ill prisoners. The public is very sensitive about this issue. We tell him that he is fine so that he is not psychologically affected. We try to comfort him, but he is an old and ill person. How far will this situation go? They held peace meetings with the governor and his deputy, they brought the people together, and then he was imprisoned without charge and without law. But no matter what happens, there must be fair trials and solutions should be found in the spirit of the right to life.”

HEDEP MP Hun: “Someone’s right to life is being violated here”

HEDEP MP Yılmaz Hun submitted a parliamentary question to the Ministry of Justice regarding Ferzende Elbi. In an interview with ANF, he explained that the repression of Elbi and the other ill prisoners was a “violation of the right to life”. He continued: “Elbi is a wise, loved and respected person, a person who has promoted peace. He was one of the wise men, a messenger of peace. He was convicted because he advocated peace. His health problems have progressed. He has several illnesses. He finds it difficult to talk to his family. He comes to visit in a wheelchair because he cannot walk himself. He can no longer take care of himself. He is unable to live alone. The forensic medicine institute nevertheless certified that he was fit to be held in prison. There are many reports on his condition, but we do not have access to these reports. We have submitted a parliamentary question and contacted all relevant institutions. We have submitted a petition that he cannot remain in prison at this age and under these conditions. We are currently waiting for the result of our applications.”

Co-defendant already died due to lack of treatment

Along with Ferzende Elbi, Ehettin Kaynar, Kerim Boran, Mehmet Çelik, Abdülmecit Kaya and Abdullah Ateş, all well over 70 years of age, were also sentenced to life imprisonment for alleged membership in the peace commission. Many of them were already seriously ill at that time. As was the case of Ehettin Kaynar, who suffered from hepatocellular carcinoma. Due to a lack of treatment, his situation in prison continued to deteriorate. Only when the disease had progressed to an incurable state was his sentence suspended for six months and he was released from Karabük T-type prison on 2 September. Six weeks later he was dead.