Human rights associations up in arms over deputy’s remarks on torture allegations

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Mehmet Metiner

In an open letter to the Turkish Parliament, six Turkey-based human rights associations on Thursday criticized recent remarks of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Mehmet Metiner, who said the government would ignore allegations of torture and mistreatment if victims were sympathizers of the Gülen movement.

The Helsinki Citizens Assembly (HYD), Human Rights Association (İHD), Human Rights Research Association (İHAD), Human Rights Agenda Association (İHGD), Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples (MAZLUMDER) and the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) said in the letter that Metiner’s remarks were unacceptable.

“We protest deputy Mehmet Metiner for his position on torture allegations. No one can be subjected to torture and maltreatment for any reason,” the letter read.

AKP deputy Metiner, who is also head of the parliamentary prison subcommittee, said there will be no official visit to those who have been arrested on charges of membership in the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), a term used by the Turkish government to describe the Gülen movement.

In a separate incident last week, Metiner also said he would have done the same if he were the police officers who roughed up sympathizers of the Gülen movement in an attempt to arrest them.

The government accuses the movement of masterminding a July 15 coup attempt despite successive denials from the latter.

Amnesty International stated on July 24 that it had collected credible evidence that detainees in Turkey are beaten, tortured and on some occasions raped in official and unofficial detention centers across the country. (Turkey Purge)

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