The mother of one of the purge-victim military cadets shared two pictures of his son five years apart, revealing the toll on the boy’s physical appearance throughout his imprisonment.

In the first picture, the young cadet is seen hour before his arrest on the night of the coup attempt, while the second picture was taken some six years later on the night of his release from prison.

At least 67 military cadets who had been incarcerated in İstanbul’s Silivri prison for over six years on coup charges, were released late on Tuesday based on a recent ruling by Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals.

Turkey experienced a controversial military coup attempt on the night of July 15, 2016 which, according to many, was a false flag aimed at entrenching the authoritarian rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan by rooting out dissidents and eliminating powerful actors such as the military in his desire for absolute power.

A total of 259 military cadets were detained on coup charges on July 16, 2016 and were arrested four days later. The cadets were indicted one year after they were sent to jail, and their trial was concluded in May 2018. One hundred seventy-eight of the cadets were given life sentences on charges of attempting to overturn the constitutional order and attempting to overthrow the Turkish government and parliament by use of force as well as membership in a terrorist organization.

The cadets say they had no information about a coup attempt unfolding and were acting on orders from their superiors, who told them there was a terrorist attack.