Local human rights and law associations revealed details of recent incidents of torture and police brutality in Turkey’s Diyarbakir on Thursday.
The Diyarbakir branch of the Turkish Human Rights Association (IHD) and the Diyarbakir Bar Association made the revelations in a report that detailed the extent of torture; suspects claim to have suffered while being detained by local security forces.
The report, released on Thursday during a press conference held in the IHD’s Diyarbakir branch building, includes statements from recently-detained suspects and their family members.
The Gazete Duvar news portal reported on Thursday that the alleged incidents of torture by Turkish security forces took place during operations carried out in Cakirtutmaz and Kilickaya towns near Diyarbakir’s Cinar district earlier in December.
Lawyer Hasan Yalcin, a Diyarbakir IHD executive board member, on Thursday, shared details of the alleged torture by police officers who early in the morning raided the houses of suspects with the initials L.C. and I.C. in Kilickaya and detained them.
Yalcin quoted L.C.’s mother as saying, “They [officers] got us on the ground with my son. They stepped on our heads. They punched my son and hit his head against the wall. I thought they were going to kill him. Another two [officers] searched the house. They were violent and inhuman.”
The lawyer also cited I.C.’s wife as saying those police officers beat her son and husband while they were forced to lie face down on the ground, with the son’s hands handcuffed behind his back.
“One of my daughters wanted to go and get her sister, who was sleeping in the other room. They stopped her by threatening to kill her. They got the kid, and one of them said ‘show no mercy, kill the kid.’ The child they received orders to kill is only five years old,” Yalcin further quoted the wife as saying.
Cihan Aydin, the head of the Diyarbakir Bar Association, underlined during the conference that torture and degrading treatment had become systematic administrative practices applied during detentions carried out in Turkey.
The lawyer elaborated that local security officials on December 8 broke into an apartment to detain two suspects and allegedly insulted, threatened, and beat all members of the household while conducting the detentions.
“One of the suspects said he was subjected to electric shock, and his arm was fractured because of the torture that also caused bruises all over his body,” Aydin explained.
He went on to say that the other suspect has difficulty walking due to continually being hit by the officers on the leg that he had previously injured in a car crash.
“The second suspect also has a busted lip and many bruises around his body as a result of being battered,” Aydin added.
The lawyer stressed that the torture claims in Diyarbakir must be investigated adequately, and a criminal case must be filed against those security officials who are suspected of having exercised torture and those who have turned a blind eye to it.
Referring to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, Aydin concluded: “Turkish security forces’ disproportionate and unlawful use of force and torture, which is either ordered or allowed by the political authority, threatens democracy and human rights [in Turkey.]”
The IHD, an independent association to promote human rights and freedom in Turkey, was founded in 1986.
Andrew Gardner, a Turkey researcher at Amnesty International, a London-based non-governmental organization focusing on human rights, said that cases of torture and ill-treatment in the country increased significantly after 2016’s failed coup attempt.
The Sweden-based Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF), also declared in a report published in June 2017 that torture, abuse, and ill-treatment of detainees and prisoners in Turkey has become the norm rather than the exception.