DIYARBAKIR, Turkey—Abdullah Demirbas, the former mayor of the Sur municipality in Diyarbakir, was released from jail earlier this week after his lawyers filed an appeal based on his deteriorating health, reported Turkey’s Bianet news service. Demirbas reportedly suffers from deep vein thrombosis and is suspected to have gangrene and emboli, according to Bianet.
In a statement to supporters, Demirbas’s daughter Berfin Ezgi Demirbas said that following his release on Oct. 6, he was immediately transferred to Dicle University Hospital in Diyarbakir where he is receiving treatment.
“Although we are very relieved that he will now receive proper treatment, there are currently many prisoners held in jail with similar conditions. We will continue to advocate for the rights of sick prisoners with serious medical conditions,” read a part of her statement.
Last month, Berfin wrote a personal appeal for his release. The appeal was posted on the petition site change.org, and gathered more than 12,000 signatures.
“The state should be responsible for the lives of those it has incarcerated—the individuals whose basic rights and liberties have been denied behind cement walls and prison bars. Yet, the state is leaving more than 130,000 sick inmates to die through the politics of violence and massacre, as well as the pain of isolation in the prison system,” read a part of the appeal.
Demirbas was arrested by Turkish authorities in Diyarbakir on Aug. 9. A long list of charges was filed against him, reported the local BIA News Center. The 49-year-old politician has long been targeted by the ruling authorities; charges have included his use of the Kurdish language in an official capacity.
An advocate for Armenian rights, Demiras also worked on the Surp Giragos Church reconstruction project in 2011. On the occasion of the re-opening of the church, he addressed the Armenians who had gathered there: “Welcome, my brothers and sisters! We are very glad to see you in your own country, your own city!”