Kurdish politician Alınak sustains injury to head after falling in prison

Jailed Kurdish politician Alınak has sustained an injury to his head after slipping on ice and falling in the prison. After regaining consciousness, Alınak did not consent to wearing handcuffs while being escorted to the hospital. His wish was eventually accepted by the jail management, but there are many political prisoners who are denied of health services due to refusing to be handcuffed, said Alınak.

Duvar English

Kurdish politician and writer Mahmut Alınak, who was put behind bars in February for the 10th time, has sustained an injury to his head after falling in the prison, Mezopotamya news agency reported on March 2.

Kurdish politician, writer Mahmut Alınak behind bars for 10th timeKurdish politician, writer Mahmut Alınak behind bars for 10th time

The 68-year-old former People’s Labor Party (HEP) deputy was arrested by a court order on Feb. 17 in the eastern province of Kars. He is currently incarcerated in the Kars Prison.

As he was taking air outside, Alınak slipped on ice and fell on the concrete floor, leading to a temporary loss of consciousness. When he recovered, he did not wish to be dispatched to a hospital with his hands handcuffed, taking the risk of not being transferred to a hospital at all.

“I was either going to consent to being handcuffed or refuse the handcuffs and take the risk of a cerebral bleeding and of not going to a hospital. I told the prison management that I would not go to the hospital with my hands handcuffed. They told me to write a petition indicating this. And I wrote it and took on the responsibility. If I did die, no one would be responsible of my death!” Alınak was quoted as saying by Mezopotamya news agency.

The issue resolved itself, and the prison management accepted Alınak's refusal to wear handcuffs and take him to the hospital that way. Alınak said that the authorities did not only place the gendarmerie in front of the hospital but also the counter-terrorism police around the hospital building for him “not to escape.” After going through a check-up, doctors did not find a “life-threatening” situation with him, Alınak said.

Wearing handcuffs is 'offending, not compulsory by law'

The Kurdish politician said that it is both “offending” and also “not compulsory by law” for a prisoner to wear handcuffs while being escorted to a hospital.

He said in his note titled “Dying or being handcuffed” many political prisoners do not accept wearing handcuffs while being treated at hospital, as a result of which they are not getting the necessary health services.

Alınak was initially detained on charges of being a member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), but later the court arrested him on charges of the Article 302 of the Turkish Penal Code which refers to "disrupting the unity and integrity of the state." 

"Any person who commits an act to place all, or part, of the territory of the State under the sovereignty of a foreign state or to disrupt the unity of the State or to weaken the independence of the State or to separate part of the territory under the sovereignty of the State from the State administration shall be sentenced to a penalty of aggravated life imprisonment," says the Article 302.