Newly released journalist says tortured with molten plastic during detention

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Police officers reportedly tortured Adnan Kümek, a reporter for the government-targeted Azadiya Welat newspaper, by dripping molten plastic on his legs during the two days he was held at an unofficial detention center in Turkey’s East.

Allegations of torture and other maltreatment of Turkey’s post-coup detainees have substantially increased in the recent past.

“Police officers grabbed my personnel card, burned it and dripped it through my legs. I was tortured for two days,” Kümek told the DİHA news agency on Saturday.

Kümek was detained on his way from Bitlis province to Siirt on Sept. 27.

“I was forced into a police car and we went back to Bitlis. Police officers were swearing and insulting along the way. At first, I supposed that we were going to a police station. Later on, I was put in an abandoned building on Bitlis’s outskirts,” Kümek said.

Stating that there are still scars and bruises on his body with the major part of his legs swollen, Kümek said he will file a complaint against the police officers.

In August authorities raided the main office of the Kurdish-language daily Azadiya Welat and temporarily halted publication of the newspaper over terrorism charges. Many of the newspaper’s reporters were detained during the raid.

The Turkish government has gradually tightened its control over media in the aftermath of a failed coup, with 180 media outlets closed since July 15.

Nearly 51,000 people have been detained and 27,300 arrested since the coup attempt.

Amnesty International said on July 24 that it had gathered credible evidence that some post-coup detainees are beaten, tortured and raped in official and unofficial detention centers across Turkey.

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