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Human Rights Watch: Detainee suffers from frozen shoulder after ill-treatment in custody

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Forced to stay in a stress position for long hours, one of Turkey’s post-coup detainees suffered from frozen shoulder, a forensic specialist told Human Rights Watch (HRW).

In a 43-page report, “A Blank Check: Turkey’s Post-Coup Suspension of Safeguards Against Torture,” published on Tuesday, HRW documented 13 specific abuse incidents concerning Turkey’s post-coup detainees. The alleged abuse cases ranged from use of stress positions and sleep deprivation to severe beatings, sexual abuse and the threat of rape.

HRW said it had interviewed more than 40 lawyers, human rights activists, former detainees, medical personnel, and forensic specialists before preparing the report.

The watchdog said Turkey’s post-coup emergency decrees facilitated torture as they removed safeguards against ill-treatment.

What follows is the full text of the seventh abusive incident in the series published by HRW on Tuesday.


A forensic specialist described to Human Rights Watch his examinations of two detainees who bore signs of having been beaten.

“The forensic specialist said that one detainee, an officer suspected of involvement in the failed coup, told him that the police had forced him to sit on his knees, bent forward so his forehead touched the floor, with his hands tied on his back, for 36 hours. Whenever he tried to move, the police hit him on the head and the back with a belt. Afterwards, the detainee told the specialist, the police placed him in a cell with several enlisted soldiers who severely beat him.

‘There was not a part of his body that was not covered in bruises and he suffered from a frozen shoulder from the stress-position,’ the forensic specialist said.”


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