Cancer patient dies in prison cell

Cancer patient dies in prison cell

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Cancer patient dies in prison cell

AA Photo

Cancer patient convict İrfan Eskibağ has died in his Sincan prison cell while waiting for the authorities to respond to medical reports calling for his release, according to a statement released by the Turkish NGO the Human Rights Association (IHD).

Eskibağ, convicted of being a member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June 2011, and subsequently received chemo treatment in frequent visits to hospitals from the F-type prison where he was serving time. His final visit to the hospital lasted three days.

Doctors had issued a medical report calling for Eskibağ’s release of, but the report was kept on hold at the Istanbul Forensic Medicine Institute for three months. Eskibağ passed away on May 7 and his body was delivered to his family following the official autopsy.

The IHD released a statement calling for effective legislative changes to allow patients with severe conditions to spend time with their families. IHD members also staged a protest in front of the Turkish Parliament, with Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy Hüsamettin Zenderlioğlu attending the demonstration, Anatolia news agency reported.

Eskibağ’s brother, Rıza, told Fırat News Agency that his brother’s final wish was to see his family, according to T24.

“My brother’s last wish was to be with his family in his dying breath,” Rıza was quoted as saying. “They wouldn’t even let him have that.”

Over 400 inmates with health problems are currently serving time in prisons, with 121 suffering from severe conditions and 108 needing urgent intervention, according to the IHD.

Eskibağ had been an inmate for over 10 years.