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HomeHeadlineTurkey: Elderly and Disabled Prisoner's Plea for Release Ignored Despite Dire Health...

Turkey: Elderly and Disabled Prisoner’s Plea for Release Ignored Despite Dire Health Warnings

The Forensic Medicine Institute (FMI) of Turkey has declared that Abdulalim Kaya, an 81-year-old prisoner with a 93% disability, can remain in prison despite having served only one year of his 4.5-year sentence. Kaya’s family, highlighting his inability to live independently, is urgently calling for his release.

Abdulalim Kaya, considered a severely ill inmate, faced prosecution in 2008 after participating in a press conference, leading to charges of “committing a crime on behalf of an organization without being a member.” The Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court sentenced him to 8.5 years, a decision affirmed by the Supreme Court in 2011. Kaya, who had evaded capture for 12 years, was finally arrested on October 14, 2020, in Bursa following a surgical procedure and placed in Bursa Type H Closed Prison. Due to his health issues, he was released two months later, and his sentence was deferred for two years.

However, the Siirt Training and Research Hospital issued a report on October 12, 2022, indicating Kaya’s 93% disability and stating his incapacity to live alone, requiring constant care and unable to endure prison life due to his condition posing a life-threatening risk. Despite this, Kaya was re-arrested on March 18, 2023, and transferred to Batman Type M Closed Prison.

In defiance of his severe health conditions, including kidney failure, hernia, hypertension, prostate cancer, and dementia, Kaya has been kept in custody for a year following new legal adjustments that reduced his sentence to 4.5 years. His lawyers and family’s efforts to defer his sentence led to his evaluation by the Istanbul Forensic Medicine Institute, which controversially concluded on August 31 that he could remain incarcerated.

Feremez Kaya, Abdulalim Kaya’s son, expressed the dire state of his father, who is bedridden and unable to visit without assistance, emphasizing the family’s exhaustive attempts to seek justice through every possible channel, including appeals to the President and the Ministry of Justice, as well as public advocacy and international media attention. Despite receiving support from various political parties and institutions (with the exception of MHP) and the issue being raised in both the media and Parliament, their pleas for his release have yet to be answered.

The Kaya family continues to advocate for Abdulalim’s release, highlighting the systemic failure to address the needs of elderly and disabled prisoners within the judicial system.

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