Medenî Arifoğlu, a Turkish businessman who was sentenced to 7,5 years in prison on allegations of membership in the Gülen group, died of cancer on Saturday, according to Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a prominent human rights activist and a deputy from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP),

In 2010, Arifoğlu was awarded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan due to his “extraordinary contributions to the Turkish economy.”

Gergerlioğlu said the businessman was repeatedly denied release from prison despite having a burst-appendix and being diagnosed with advanced liver cancer.

“He was racked with pain. I submitted parliamentary questions many times [to the Parliament Speaker’s Office]. I mentioned his name at the Turkish Parliament. He was eventually released from prison. But it was too late. He was ruined,” Gergerlioğlu tweeted.

Arifoğlu reportedly lost over 45 kilograms during his time behind bars. The purge victim man was accused by the government of having links to Turkey’s Gulen group. A court ruled to confiscate the purge-victim man’s all the properties, including his house, stores and vehicles.

Turkey accuses the Gülen group of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt, although it denies any involvement.

Since the failed coup more than 500,000 people have been detained in a large-scale crackdown targeting followers of the movement, and some 90,000 of them have been put in prison.

Nearly 30,000 people are behind bars on accusations of membership in the Gülen group.