Arrested journalist Hüsnü Mahalli taken to general hospital
ISTANBULJournalist Hüsnü Mahalli, who was arrested on Dec. 15 for allegedly insulting state officials, was transferred to a general hospital in Istanbul on Dec. 21 after falling ill in prison.
Mahalli, who was under arrest in Istanbul’s Silivri prison, had initially been referred to Silivri State Hospital in the afternoon before ultimately being taken to Istanbul University’s Cerrahpaşa Medicine Faculty Hospital, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy Barış Yarkadaş said.
“When Mahalli felt sick, he was taken to the Cerrahpaşa Medicine Faculty Hospital. Medics treated Mahalli there and then submitted a medical report, suggesting that he had to be taken to a general hospital. The Istanbul Medical Chamber also evaluated those reports at its council and advised that Mahalli be taken to a general hospital. So, his lawyers Turan Aydoğan and Muhterem Aktaş submitted both medical reports to the court. The reports were also presented to the prison management, and he was taken to hospital,” said Yarkadaş.
The CHP deputy and former journalist also noted that both reports were handed to Health “Minister Recep Akdağ and Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ.
“We related the situation to Mr. Bozdağ and Mr. Akdağ. We said we did not want [special] privileges but only demanded that Mahalli be treated at a general hospital. Authorities from both ministries immediately processed the medical reports because it was seen that he had unrecoverable health problems. When the medical reports were processed, Mahalli was transferred to the general Cerrahpaşa Medicine Faculty Hospital. Our journalist brother Mahalli will be treated here. I hope that he will be discharged in a short time and return to health,” Yarkadaş said, adding that Mahalli, who has multiple sclerosis, would be treated in the hospital’s neurology and internal diseases units.
After receiving treatment in hospital during detention proceedings at police headquarters, an Istanbul court ordered the arrest of Mahalli on Dec. 15 on charges of allegedly insulting state officials on Twitter.
Earlier in the month, Mahalli had criticized what he termed hypocrisy in the pro-government media’s approach to Yemen, Libya and Syria.
“The Syrian army is cleaning Aleppo of murderers and the media is screaming blue murder,” Mahalli tweeted earlier in December.
Erkan Tan, a presenter for A Haber channel, subsequently declared Mahalli as the “mongrel of a murderer” and a “traitor.” Tan named him “the spy of murderer Assad” after his detention.