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Father says his arrested newspaper distributor son being beaten in prison

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Prison guards have been beating Salih Elitaş, a distributor for the Azadiya Welat newspaper, which has been targeted by the government, along with other people being held under arrest at Manisa Prison, his father told the Evrensel daily.

Salih Elitaş has been under arrest pending trial since March.

His father, Ramazan Elitaş, said his son and other prisoners are subjected to beatings and are also denied the right to seek medical assistance.

He said all objections he made to his son’s arrest over the past three months have been ignored without any effort to investigate the situation.

“We used to meet during open visits every month. Now it is every two months. The letters from my son are also blocked. He is not allowed to receive letters from outside, either,” Ramazan Elitaş said about increased restrictions on prisoners.

In August authorities raided the main office of the Kurdish-language daily Azadiya Welat and temporarily halted publication due to 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.

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

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

Meanwhile, people detained as part of the Gülen movement are also reported to have been tortured. Amnesty International stated on July 24 that it had collected credible evidence that people detained in Turkey after the July 15 coup attempt are beaten, tortured and on some occasions raped in official and unofficial detention centers across the country. (Turkey Purge)

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