Purged human rights defender briefly taken into custody, subjected to excessive force

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Veli Saçılık

Veli Saçılık, a purged human rights defender, was allegedly subjected to excessive force on Thursday when he was taken into custody during a protest in Ankara against the Turkish government’s removal from office last month of three Kurdish mayors.

In a tweet on Thursday evening, Saçılık, who lost an arm in a police operation on a Turkish prison in the 1990s, said his head hit a concrete wall after the police intervened in the protest and that his feet were shackled by a police officer.

He was later released by the police.

The Turkish government removed the HDP mayors of Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van on alleged terrorism charges and appointed trustees in their place.

Saçılık, a vocal critic and street protestor of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his party, was dismissed from a civil servant position by a government decree.

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