Petition Launched to Release 79-Year-Old Kurdish Prisoner


A petition has been launched to call for the release of Elfo Ülper, a 79-year old Kurdish mother who has been imprisoned in an M-Type Prison for 8 years and suffers from high blood tension and rheumatism.

Elfo Ülper is a 79-year-old mother born in the Kurdish province of Şırnak in Turkey. Having been committed to 18 years in prison due to the alleged crime of “carrying plastic explosives”, Elfo Ülper has been seriously ill and is not able to perform her daily tasks on her own.

As she is put in a prison far away from her hometown, her children can visit her once a year at most because of their financial difficulties. If not released, Elfo Ülper will have to stay in prison for 7 more years.

The petition entitled “Don’t Let Mother Elfo Die in Prison!” asks the Turkish authorities to release Elfo Ülper so that she will be able to spend her last days at home in her family’s care

“Don’t Let Mother Elfo Die in Prison!

Mother Elfo is a 79-year-old mother born in Şırnak. She was condemned to 18 years in prison 8 years ago and has been in prison ever since. Despite her increased age, she has to spend 7 more years in prison to complete her sentence.

She complains about the numbness in her legs as she suffers from high blood tension and rheumatism. She also has the problem of shortness of breath. Having had a hand operation recently, she is not even able to wash her clothes on her own. The prison conditions are too aggravating for Mother Elfo to handle due to her health problems and increased age. She is not able to live her life by herself and is in need of the help of others in order to fulfill her needs.

Mother Elfo is now in prison in the province of Batman and her children can visit her once a year at most because of their health problems and financial difficulties. Some of her children are in their hometown and some others are in different cities so being far away from her children and her land as well as her increased age and her inability to carry out her daily acts demoralize her and affect her health negatively. The sentence she keeps repeating lately sums up all her fears:

“I don’t want to die here.”

The lawyer of Mother Elfo has applied to the Ministry of Justice so that she can benefit from the pardoning power of the President due to her “lasting illness, disability and old age” and get released. In response to the request for pardon of the lawyer, the Institution of Forensic Medicine in Turkey has stated that Mother Elfo does not possess the necessary symptoms that would enable her to be included in the scope of the presidential pardon.

That is, the increased age and deteriorating health conditions of Mother Elfo do not signify anything for the Turkish authorities. However, mother Elfo has not given up and has submitted a bill of exception asking her case and files to be examined again.

Isn’t captivity for 8 years enough for a 79-year-old mother?

We are calling for every one with a good conscience, particularly the Minister of Justice and the President, to be responsive to Mother Elfo who says “I don’t want to die here” so that she can spend her last days at home in her family’s care.

Click here to sign the petition