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Academic Nuriye Gülmen and teacher Semih Özakça are currently (July 12) on the 126th day of their hunger strike and are still behind bars in Ankara Sincan Prison.
Engin Gökoğlu, one of the attorneys representing Gülmen and Özakça met with his two clients today and reported bianet about their situations.
"High morale but bad medical condition"
Gökoğlu speaking to bianet about the current situation of Gülmen and Özakça said: "Their morale is high but their medical condition is bad. They cannot walk anymore. Nuriye came to the visit on a wheelchair, she has problems with their stomachs and kidneys and some bruises on her leg" and added:
"Nuriye told that the women guardians came to her cell every night and woke her up. When she asked them why they did that, she told me that they said, 'We came to check on you whether you are dead or alive'.
"They reportedly visit Semih in his cell at around 11 p.m at nights and observe him from a distance without touching him.
"It is inhumane that they have been doing this instead of taking a step to solve the problem. They probably think that they can get rid of their responsibility by doing so. But they don't care about the health of Nuriye and Semih.
"Last request for release was denied as court found them fit to stay in prison"
Noting that their last request for release had been rejected by Ankara 19th High Criminal Court, Gökoğlu stated:
The court denied our request on June 30. This decison was served on us only today, on July 11. The court in its decision says that found staying further in prison was proper in terms of their medical condition.
"They are both on the edge of death, their demands must be accepted immediately. Reinstating them back to their jobs is not a demand hard to meet. The resistance which is already heard by the whole world should also be heard by the government".
About Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça
On January 6, 2017, Nuriye Gülmen was discharged from her position through the Statutory Decree No. 679 issued under the State of Emergency.
On October 29, 2016, Semih Özakça was discharged from his position through the Statutory Decree No. 675 issued under the State of Emergency.
On March 9, 2017 Gülmen and Özakça went on an indefinite and non-alternate hunger strike in front of the Human Rights Statute on Yüksel Street in Turkey's capital city of Ankara.
They were taken into custody and later released several times during their hunger strike.
Being charged with "being a member of a terrorist organization", "opposing to the Law on Assembly and Demonstration" and "propagandizing for a terrorist organization", they were arrested on May 23. (AS/DG)
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