Urgent Action: Imprisoned Woman In Urgent Need Of Surgery (Turkey: UA 21/17)

Urgent Action
January 23, 2017
Sibel Çapraz is imprisoned and the authorities are denying her a vital and an urgent operation and adequate medical treatment. She was shot in November 2015 in Yüksekova, south-east Turkey, during clashes between security forces and the PKK. She was detained in March 2016 while in hospital.
Sibel Çapraz is held at Bakırköy Women’s prison in Istanbul and is currently standing trial charged with “inciting the public to hatred or hostility” and “membership of an armed terrorist organisation” (the Kurdish Workers Party/Kurdish Communities Union, PKK/KCK). She is being denied an urgent operation to reverse a colostomy procedure which should have happened in February 2016. The delay, according to a medical opinion seen by Amnesty International, is increasing the risk of complications and potentially putting Sibel Çapraz’s life at risk.
Sibel Çapraz, a member of the Hakkari Municipal Council, was shot in the right arm and abdomen on the night of 27 November 2015 in Yüksekova, a city in the Hakkari province in south-east Turkey, during clashes between security forces and armed individuals affiliated to the PKK. The day after the shooting, Sibel Çapraz underwent surgery on her arm and an emergency colostomy procedure on her damaged intestines. On 23 December, she was transferred to Baltalımanı Bone Diseases hospital in Istanbul for further surgery on her arm. In February 2016 she was due to have an operation to reverse the colostomy but that could not happen because she was still receiving treatment on her arm.
Sibel Çapraz’s brother explained that on 4 March 2016 police came to the hospital and took her to the Çağlayan Courthouse. The court ordered she be remanded in pre-trial detention.
Almost a year on, Sibel Çapraz has still not received the operation to reverse the colostomy procedure which was scheduled to take place in February 2016. She reports being in pain and, due to her arm injury, relies on fellow inmates to change her colostomy bag many times a day. Sibel Çapraz’s lawyers have alerted the court to these medical issues and, unsuccessfully, requested her to receive treatment and be released from pre-trial detention. The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey also made an application to the General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Houses requesting that she receive the urgent operation and continue the treatment on her arm. The authorities, whilst failing to respond directly to the urgent medical issue, replied saying that she is receiving all the treatment she needs. Sibel Çapraz’s lawyer told Amnesty International that this consisted of rehabilitation treatment, which does not replace the surgery she needs to undergo.
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
  • Calling on the Turkish authorities to ensure without further delay that Sibel Çapraz receives the reverse colostomy procedure and any other medical treatment she requires in an adequately equipped medical facility.
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