IHD: 40,573 rights violations, 1,481 dead in 9 months in Turkey

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A woman walks past the ruins of a building as curfew ends during daylight in the town of Silopi on January 19, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ILYAS AKENGIN

Turkey’s Human Rights Association (İHD) stated on Wednesday that 40,573 rights violations occurred in the first nine months of 2016 in Turkey, the Cumhuriyet daily reported.

According to a report issued by the IHD’s Diyarbakır branch, 1,481 people were killed and 1,907 were wounded in clashes with and attacks launched by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and security force operations in southeastern Turkey.

İHD Deputy Chairman Raci Bilici, who released the report during a press conference in Diyarbakır, called on the PKK and the government to end the clashes as soon as possible in order to pave the way for renewed negotiations.

Underlining the deteriorating conditions under the declaration of a state of emergency in Turkey, Bilici said there is an increase in the number of cases of maltreatment and torture of people under detention and elsewhere. According to Bilici, Turkey’s prisons have turned into centers of torture. The right to maintain one’s health and inmates’ right to communicate with the outside world have been violated. A total of 756 inmates who have health problems, 300 of whom are in critical condition, have been left to their fate, added Bilici.

According to the IHD report, 298 people have been killed and 128 wounded by security forces in extrajudicial acts, including arbitrary killings, violations of the right to bear arms and action taken with the excuse that the suspect failed to obey orders.

A total of 406 security force members have been killed and 1,032 wounded during clashes. In the same period, 605 PKK militants have been killed and 13 wounded. Twenty-nine civilians have been killed and 32 injured during clashes between the PKK and security forces. Seventeen citizens have been kidnapped by the PKK. One hundred two civilians were killed and 635 were injured in attacks carried out by illegal organizations. Thirty-six people have been killed and 39 wounded by security forces in border areas. Two women and seven children were killed, while 28 were wounded when landmines or discarded bombs exploded. Twenty-three have been victims of suspected killings and eight people committed suicide under suspicious circumstances.

Eight women have committed suicide, while 28 have been victims of domestic violence. Nine children have committed suicide and eight have died in violent incidents. Seventy-one children have been sexually assaulted.

According to the IHD report, 191 people have been tortured and maltreated under detention, 155 have been tortured and maltreated in prison and 124 people have been tortured and maltreated in other places.

As part of a media crackdown, 23 TV and radio stations and 32 Internet websites have been shut down. Four newspapers and media organizations have been raided by security forces. A total of 565 people have been investigated, 48 have been sued and 103 have been punished as part of pressure on freedom of expression. Seventeen associations and two educational centers have been closed.

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