Attorney Bek: Mehmet Emin Özkan is left for dead

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  • 16:32 17 September 2021
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ADANA -  Stating that seriously ill prisoner Mehmet Emin Özkan could not even come to the SEGBİS room alone and that he could not understand what was being said, lawyer Tugay Bek said, "Mehmet Emin Özkan was left for dead."

The hearing of 83-year-old seriously ill prisoner Mehmet Emin Özkan, whose retrial is still ongoing, regarding the murder of Gendarmerie Regional Commander Brigadier General Bahtiyar Aydın on 22 October 1993 in Lice district of Diyarbakır was held at Adana 7th High Criminal Court. The court decided to continue Özkan's detention on the grounds that the Lice Case, which was heard at the İzmir 1st High Criminal Court, was not concluded.
Tugay Bek, one of Özkan's lawyers, reminded that his client was sentenced to life imprisonment by the State Security Court (DGM) with unlawful evidence, but after it was revealed that the massacre in Lice was the product of counter-guerrilla activities, a lawsuit was filed against the perpetrators.
Saying that they made a request to stop the conviction and proceed to the merits in the ongoing case against Özkan at the Adana 7th High Criminal Court, Bek stated that the court ignored their demands on the grounds that the Lice Case, which was heard at the İzmir 1st High Criminal Court, was not concluded.
Stating that Özkan has been in prison since 1996 and has serious health problems, Bek said, "In previous hearings, Mehmet Emin Özkan could not even come out of his cell and come to the room to connect to the video conference in the court room (SEGBİS)due to health problems. This time, Mehmet Emin Özkan was brought to the SEGBİS room upon the request of the court. He could not answer the questions of the committee. Because he is not healthy enough to understand what was said. According to the information we have obtained from his family, he has not even been able to know where he is lately. We are discussing the trial of someone who does not even realize that he is in prison.
Recalling what the guard accompanying Özkan said in court yesterday, and reminding that even the guardian told the judge Özkan could not hear or understand him, Bek told that the prison staff also know about his health issues. Stating that they could not understand why Özkan was in prison pending trial, Bek said: "He is left for dead in prison."
Pointing out that even judicial control measures were not implemented despite Özkan's health, Bek said, "If judicial control measures are not implemented in this case, what are these measures for?" He stressed that he should be released.
Drawing attention to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) and national and international legislation on sick prisoners, another attorney of Özkan, Yakup Ataş reminded that according to international law, the execution of sick prisoners should be postponed in order to be treated in full-fledged hospitals, and said: "Some of the sick prisoners were released after they died. In order to avoid such sad consequences again, Mehmet Emin Özkan's execution must be halted and he should be released as soon as possible
MA / Hamdullah Yağız Kesen

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