Jailed for 29 years, seriously ill political prisoner admitted to intensive care unit

Cemal Tanhan, a political prisoner for 29 years, has been hospitalised due to acute deterioration of his health.

Political prisoner Cemal Tanhan has been admitted to the intensive care unit at the state hospital in Bolu due to acute deterioration of his health. The 68-year-old prisoner was sentenced to life imprisonment for alleged separatist activities and has been in Turkish prisons for 29 years. His daughter Ayşe Tanhan learned of his transfer from a phone call in prison after she called the administration several times in the past few days to be able to talk to her father, who is seriously ill. Today, she was told that Tanhan had been taken to hospital because of breathing difficulties and was receiving treatment in the intensive care unit.

Ayşe Tanhan demands that her father be released due to his poor health. "My father will die otherwise. He must be released immediately and given medical treatment under appropriate circumstances. As a family, we are ready to do anything so that he can be treated. I appeal to the public and those in authority: Don't let my father die," said Ayşe Tanhan.

Cemal Tanhan was tortured after his arrest, and the consequences continue to this day. He has consciousness disorders and sometimes does not know where he is. In the 29 years of his imprisonment, he has contracted multiple diseases and suffers from pulmonary oedema, diabetes, increased blood pressure, cardiac insufficiency, intervertebral disc problems, inflammation in his legs and hearing loss, among other things. He is dependent on a wheelchair. According to a forensic medical report from April, Tanhan needs inpatient cardiological treatment. Still, the Istanbul Forensic Medicine Institute classifies Cemal Tanhan as fit to stay in prison.