Amnesty International’s Turkey branch has launched a campaign calling for “independent medical examination” for detainees in the country’s southeastern Halfeti district following severe human rights violations reports.
“Twenty-five people are still kept under detention by Şanlıurfa Counter-Terrorism Branch and these people are under threat of torture and maltreating. Detainees should immediately be provided independent medical examination,” rights group Amnesty International said on Saturday.
After an armed conflict between Turkish police and the alleged members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on May 18, one police officer died. Fifty-four people were detained as a part of an investigation launched by prosecutors in the southeastern city of Şanlıurfa’s Halfeti district.
Şanlıurfa Bar Association Human Rights Center said on Twitter that the detainees, including children, were tortured by the police.
Amnesty International said there were at least 25 people under custody by the counter-terrorism police since Saturday.
“According to the information given by the lawyers of the detainees, many of them have physical injury marks, bruises and cuts on their faces, legs and bodies,” the rights group said.
The police shocked genitalia of at least four detainees and assaulted them during detention, Amnesty said in its campaign.
Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party lawmaker Meral Danış Beştaş said on Twitter that “they (police) no longer need to hide the torture. No matter where such scenes occur, no Minister of Interior could remain in office even for a minute.”
— Meral Danış Beştaş (@meraldanis) May 20, 2019
Diyarbakır Bar Association Chair Cihan Aydın said the following on his social media account:
“- It is reminiscent of Auschwitz,
– It also seems like Abu Ghraib and Gazza,
– Can it be Guantanamo?
No, be calm, this is a garden of a gendarmerie station in Bozova, Urfa…!
– Those who were handcuffed behind are the Kurdish people who wait for the fast-breaking time.”
-Auschwitz’i de andırıyor biraz,
-Ebu Gureyb’e ve Gazze’ye de benziyor sanki,
-Guantanamo olabilir mi?
Yok yok sakin olun, burası Urfa Bozova’da bir karakol bahçesi..!
-Elleri arkadan kelepçelenenler de, iftar saatini bekleyen Kürtler. https://t.co/p72fm9aTaj
— Cihan Aydın (@CihnAydin) May 20, 2019
PKK, designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the European Union and the United States, has fought a three-decade armed campaign for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey.