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Complaints alleging police mistreatment increased by 22 percent in Turkey in 2022

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The number of people in Turkey who filed complaints alleging police mistreatment and brutality in 2022 increased by 22 percent in comparison to the previous year, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported, citing a report from the Turkish Human Rights Foundation (TİHV).

The youngest recorded victim of police mistreatment was just 3 years old, while the oldest was 76. Most complaints came from men, and 4 percent were from the LGBTQ community.

While the majority of complaints were filed in Istanbul, the number of complaints filed in the southeast of Turkey had dramatically increased. Allegations against police officers involved sexual harassment, rape, beating, insults and death threats.

TİHV Chairman Metin Bakkalcı said the report clearly revealed that the state of human rights in Turkey was worsening.

Furthermore, there was a noteworthy increase in police brutality during protests and demonstrations, with an increasing number of demonstrations being cancelled by Turkish authorities.

Police brutality toward peaceful demonstrators is not uncommon in Turkey. According to recent data from TİHV, Turkish police employed unlawful tactics including mistreatment and beating while detaining 13,935 people between 2018 and 2021.

In an earlier statement the TİHV said restricting or suspending the freedoms of assembly and demonstration was a way to narrow the scope of democratic citizenship and to gradually destroy democracy in Turkey.

Ill-treatment and torture have also become widespread and systematic in Turkish detention centers and prisons. Lack of condemnation from higher officials and a readiness to cover up allegations rather than investigate them have resulted in widespread impunity for the security forces.

An annual report by Amnesty International on the state of human rights in the world revealed that serious and credible allegations of torture and other ill-treatment were made in Turkey last year.

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