Demirtas Remained Unconscious ‘For a Long Time’ but Still Kept in Prison

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  • December 2, 2019
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The HDP's jailed former co-chair lost his consciousness after having breathing difficulties on November 26 but has been kept in prison since then although the prison doctor referred him to the hospital.

Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) former co-chair Selahattin Demirtas has not been sent to the hospital after losing consciousness on November 26, his sister and attorney Aygul Demirtas announced today (December 2).

He had chest pain and breathing difficulties before going unconscious at around 5.30 a.m., Aygul Demirtas said on Twitter.

An ambulance was called but only an ECG was performed on Demirtas, she added.

"Our client requested to be referred to a clinic rather than the emergency department for a comprehensive response and treatment.

"The prison doctor wanted him to be sent to three departments, namely cardiology, neurology and gastroenterology. We also requested him to be sent to the hospital in the meetings we held with the prison administration."

Demirtas has not been sent to the hospital, although it has been seven days since he lost consciousness, Aygul Demirtas noted.

"Intervention against his right to life"

"Not sending him to the hospital despite such a vital health problem clearly means that he is being held in a life-threatening situation.

"Selahattin Demirtas's situation as a political hostage is almost being tried to be turned into an intervention against his right to life.

"We don't want to even think about the slightest negative thing about Demirtas's health.

"We closely monitor the situation. Our lawyer colleagues are in Edirne, following the developments on a 24-hour-basis."

Demirtas has been kept in prison "due to security reasons"

Demirtas has not been sent to the hospital due to security reasons, attorney Aygul Demirtas told bianet.

"I last saw him on Friday and I found out [about the situation] there. He is conscious now. He is also waiting to be referred to the hospital.

"When we asked the prison director why he has not been taken [to the hospital], he said it was 'on the grounds of security and setting hospital conditions'.

"We are still waiting. We want him taken to the hospital as immediate as possible. No one has yet reached us from the Ministry of Justice."

HDP: Justice Ministry Should Make a Statement

The HDP called on the government and the Ministry of Justice to make a statement on the issue, asking about the medical condition of Demirtas and why he has not been taken to the hospital.

"The necessary procedures for the transfer of Demirtas to a full-fledged hospital should be performed immediately. It is absolutely unacceptable that this has not been done so far and all the responsibility lies with the authorities.

"Our Deputy Parliamentary Speaker and Deputy Group Chairpersons will go to the Edirne Prison."

Trial process of Demirtas

Objections from both the applicant and the government against the ECtHR decision dated November 20, 2018, were accepted and a hearing was held at the ECtHR Grand Chamber on September 18, 2019 (The decision has not been announced yet).

Sixteen days before the hearing, on September 2, 2019, Demirtas was released in the case where all the previous objections and appeals regarding were rejected for 69 times.

After the release order, attorneys of Demirtas applied to the court for a deduction of the time he spent in prison from his sentence. Two days after the Grand Chamber hearing, on September 20, 2019, the request for deduction was accepted. This paved the way for the release of Demirtas.

On September 20, 2019, the day when the verdict on "deduction" was given, Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office called the Directorate of Edirne Prison by phone and requested them to hold Demirtas ready at the SEGBIS (Audio and Video Information System) room. Going to the room, Demirtas learned that he will give a statement as a suspect regarding the incidents on October 6-7, 2014 and charges.

On the same day, the Edirne Prison and the attorneys of Demirtas were informed of a request for his arrest.

While the vacation court on that day was the 6th Penal Court of Peace, the 1st Penal Court of Peace questioned Demirtas and ordered the arrest of him.

Demirtas was arrested on November 4, 2016, and released on September 2, 2019, in the case that still continues at Ankara 19th Heavy Penal Court. With the decision of the 1st Penal Court of Peace, Demirtas was arrested again with different charges in the same case.

Source: English Bianet