Sick senior inmate transported to hospital with handcuffs, on foot

An 83-year-old prisoner, Mehmet Emin Özkan, was transported to the hospital on foot and with handcuffs despite visibly struggling to walk. Özkan has been in prison for 25 years and suffered five heart attacks, but hasn't been granted an early release.

Hacı Bişkin / DUVAR 

Sick senior prisoner Mehmet Emin Özkan was transported to the hospital on foot and handcuffed despite visibly struggling to stand and walk by a Diyarbakır prison administration, a video that surfaced on May 26 showed.

The 83-year-old man has been in prison for 25 years and had numerously petitioned for an early release on the grounds of his severe heart condition, which has required him to visit the hospital six times between May 17 and May 25. 

Özkan lost consciousness on May 24 and was taken to the hospital, where he was reportedly handcuffed to his bed after his medical examinations were completed and his blood was taken for analysis. 

Özkan had to go back to the hospital on May 25 after his blood tests yielded concerning results, and a video of Özkan showed him forced to walk to the vehicle with handcuffs and two people assisting him. 

Human rights defender Eren Keskin noted that the probation law Ankara passed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic excluded political prisoners, leading to sick inmates' detention being wrongfully extended. 

"He can't walk, has memory loss... Please release my father! Let him spend his last days with us," Özkan's daughter Selma Özkan said. 

Özkan's family has previously petitioned a Diyarbakır prosecutor to assign a permanent companion to Özkan as he can't care for himself after five heart attacks, four angioplasties and chronic heart problems.