Turkish bar association claims 38 detainees in Halfeti subjected to ill treatment, torture

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The Şanlıurfa Bar Association claimed that 38 people who were detained on Monday were subjected to ill treatment and torture, the Evrensel daily reported.

One police officer died in a skirmish with outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants on May 18 in the Halfeti district of Şanlıurfa. Following the incident police accused some residents of helping the terrorist group.

Police operations on Monday drew criticism on social media from human rights defenders as some photos showed that the detainees were handcuffed from behind and laid down on the ground side by side.

The Şanlurfa Bar Association’s Human Rights Center on Tuesday reported that the detainees were subjected to ill treatment and torture during interrogation and forced under duress to sign false testimonies.

According to the Mezopotamya news agency, detainee Mehmet Alakuş admitted in testimony submitted to the prosecutor’s office that he had helped the terrorists.

Later his lawyers told the agency that Alakuş was forced to sign the false testimony and threatened with harm to his family.

Some lawyers also claimed that the suspects were prohibited from seeing a doctor. The Şanlıurfa Chief Public Prosecutor’s office denied the claims of ill treatment and torture.

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