Solidarity Group with Aysel Tuğluk calls for release of Kurdish politician

The Solidarity Group with Aysel Tuğluk published a report and said that the Kurdish politician should be released immediately.

The Solidarity Group with Aysel Tuğluk prepared a report for the release and right to treatment of the former deputy co-chair of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), who has been held in Kocaeli Kandıra F Type Prison since 28 December 2016.

The report, called "Release Aysel Tuğluk so that she can live", included all the details from what happened during Tuğluk's mother's funeral to relevant decisions, reports, and  legal and medical processes.

The following information was included in the report:

“After the lifting of immunity with the constitutional amendment on 20 May 2016, on 4 November 2016 the arrest of HDP co-presidents and a number of members of parliament followed. On 26 December 2016, Aysel Tuğluk, then serving as HDP vice president, was taken into custody and on 28 December 2016 she was charged with 'running a terrorist organization'.

In the indictment prepared against her, her press statements and TV interviews were used to prove the accusation of "membership in an illegal organization". The statements made by Aysel Tuğluk when she was the co-chair of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), were used to prove her "membership in a terrorist organization".

At the end of the trial, Tuğluk was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Ankara 17th High Criminal Court in 2017 for alleged "membership in a terrorist organization". The decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. An individual application was made to the Constitutional Court (AYM) in March 2020 but has remained unanswered.

The report by the Aysel Tuğluk Solidarity Group detailed the medical process carried out since her illness appeared. In this section, the report issued by Kocaeli University and the report of the Istanbul Forensic Medicine Institution are explained.

"The Kocaeli Faculty of Medicine, Head of the Department of Forensic Medicine said that ‘the execution of the sentence should be postponed’. Nine specialists from the departments of forensic medicine, psychiatry, neurology, internal medicine and cardiology, after examining Tuğluk, submitted report No. 2021/974 on 12 July 2021.

The specialists said that 'the dementia diagnosed in the patient is of a chronic nature; it will progress; medical follow-up should be performed at a tertiary medical institution; the medical support and care available under prison conditions would probably not be sufficient and give rise to problems; it is impossible for the patient to live without the help of someone else, she cannot cope with necessary everyday personal needs under prison conditions, and therefore it is necessary for the execution of her sentence to be postponed.'"

The second report by the Institute of Forensic Medicine (ATK), number 15686, drafted by the Institute of Forensic Medicine on 3 September 2021 “stated that Tuğluk could 'manage her daily needs by herself and could continue with the execution of her sentence under prison conditions with treatment and periodic clinical controls...'"

As it happened, Kocaeli Prosecutor's Office “refused the demand for the postponement of execution of the sentence basing their decision on the report of the 3rd Specialized Board of the ATK.

The report ends with the following remarks: "Aysel Tuğluk is in prison as a result of the violation of her freedom of expression, which is guaranteed by the Constitution. The report of Kocaeli University Faculty of Medicine reveals that Tuğluk's treatment cannot be carried out while she remains in prison as conditions are not suitable and suggests that her execution should be postponed. Tuğluk cannot look after herself alone in prison. The release of Tuğluk in order to continue her treatment under conditions that safeguard her right to live and be medically cared for, is not only a necessary condition for the fulfilment of international agreements to which Turkey is party, but also a human demand."