Turkey’s forensics council claims elderly inmate is feigning illness to avoid prison

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A medical report prepared by Turkey’s Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK) for Sisê Bingöl, an elderly and ailing woman who is serving time on a terrorism conviction, claimed that she has been pretending to be sicker than she is despite an earlier medical report that said the state of her health renders her unfit to remain in prison.

The Artı Gerçek news website on Tuesday reported on the ATK report for the jailed Kurdish woman, stating that her latest examination on Jan. 7 by the ATK concluded that the elderly woman was fit to stay in prison. An earlier report by Mersin University that was sent to the ATK in November stated that Bingöl could not even remember her name, did not know the date, did not recognize her inmates and could not control her bladder.

The university medical report recommended suspension of her sentence.

Despite her advanced age and a number of health problems, she was sentenced to four years, two months in prison for “knowingly and willfully helping a terrorist organization” in April 2017 and sent to prison along with her son, who was tried on the same charges. She is currently jailed in Tarsus Prison. Petitions from her lawyer demanding the woman’s release on judicial probation have thus far been rejected.

Bingöl was first arrested in a village in Muş province on allegations of membership in a terrorist organization in April 2016 and released pending trial three months later due to deteriorating health.

There are 1,154 sick prisoners in Turkish jails, 402 of them in serious condition, the Human Rights Association announced at a press conference in July in Diyarbakır.

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