Amnesty International says it has ‘credible evidence’ of detainees in Turkey being subjected to beatings, torture and rape in the aftermath of the attempted military coup of July 15.
More than 10,000 people have been detained including judges, prosecutors, police, military and civil servants, according to the human rights group.
A group of 10 lawyers from Ankara and Istanbul representing detainees were interviewed by Amnesty International about the plight of their clients.
International Business Times reports:
“It is absolutely imperative that the Turkish authorities halt these abhorrent practices and allow international monitors to visit all these detainees in the places they are being held,” said Amnesty’s Europe director John Dalhuisen in a statement.
Two lawyers working in Ankara on behalf of detainees told Amnesty International that they saw senior military officers in detention being raped with a truncheon or fingers by police officers. The worst treatment in detention seems to be reserved for high-ranking military officers.
A person on duty at the Ankara police headquarters sports hall saw one detainee with severe wounds denied medical treatment. The police doctor on duty was heard saying: “Let him die. We will say he came to us dead.”
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday 23 July that authorities had taken around 13,000 people into custody over the coup attempt, including 8,831 soldiers. He pledged they would have a fair trial.
However, there are claims that detainees are being held without charge in informal places of detention. Some detainees, including three judges, were held in the corridors of courthouses. Those under arrest have been denied access to lawyers and family members and have not been properly informed of the charges against them, undermining their right to a fair trial.
On 23 July, the Turkish government issued its first decree under new powers authorised by its declaration of a state of emergency. As part of these measures, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has increased the period of detention for suspects from four days to 30.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is promising a military shake-up after last week’s failed coup attempt. https://t.co/BF5iIeHRbR
— NPR (@NPR) July 24, 2016
Reports ill-treatment include Turkish police in Istanbul and Ankara holding detainees in stress positions for up to two days, and withholding food, water and medical treatment. Some claim they were blindfolded throughout their detention.
“Reports of abuse including beatings and rape in detention are extremely alarming, especially given the scale of detentions that we have seen in the past week. The grim details that we have documented are just a snapshot of the abuses that might be happening in places of detention,” said Dalhuisen.
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