Main opposition deputy says incidents of torture sharply increased under AK Party rule

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu has said that incidents of torture increased from 900 to 5,671 in the last 13 years under the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) rule.

Tanrıkulu released a statement on June 26, the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, and said that there is a sharp increase in the incidents of torture under AK Party rule, especially in the last two years.

The CHP deputy emphasized that torture and maltreatment have become a government politics against those who refuse to obey AK Party.

“Even though the incidents of torture gradually increased under the AK Party rule, conditions have become no different than they were during the martial rule in the last two or three years. If we consider that incidents of torture and maltreatment in places such as prisons are not included in these statistics, we can clearly see how striking the number of torture victims is,” Tanrıkulu added.

He also said that it is very meaningful that Professor Şebnem Korur Fincancı, the Founding President of the Turkish Human Rights Foundation (TİHV), was recently arrested in a government-led move.

“Fincancı’s arrest serves as a reward for those who use torture and maltreatment against others,” Tanrıkulu also said.

Fincancı was arrested – among others — over charges that include “making propaganda of a terrorist organization” after serving as temporary editor-in-chief for the Özgür Gündem daily, which has been under government crackdown recently. Press freedom activists launched a campaign in solidarity with the daily, where prominent journalists and academics serve as “editor-in-chief on duty” for the newspaper.

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