2,991 people died in Turkey in 2021 due to ‘violations of the right to life’: TİHV report

At least 2,991 people died in Turkey last year due to “violations of the right to life” according to an annual report released on Monday by the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV).

The TİHV 2021 report, containing the human rights violations of 2021, claimed that the Human Rights Action Plan announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on March 2, 2021 has not been implemented as was promised. The plan was based on goals, principles and activities to be implemented by the state within two years to ensure human rights and equality in Turkey and led to widespread skepticism and even ridicule due to the government’s poor record on human rights.

According to the TİHV 2021 report, a total of 2,170 people lost their lives in workplace accidents during the year.

At least 339 women died as a result of domestic violence last year, the report said.

According to the report, at least 29 inmates lost their lives in 2021 due to rights violations in Turkish prisons.

The report states that four children died in nine accidents caused by police, gendarmerie and other armored security vehicles in 2021.

In addition, 12 people were killed and 31 injured in 27 racist attacks, including eight against refugees and citizens of other countries and 19 against Kurds.

In at least 152 separate incidents in 2021, 19 children, 14 refugees and at least 449 individuals were tortured or mistreated. In 152 cases of mistreatment or torture, the perpetrators were police in 112 cases, the military in 19 cases, prison guards in 10 cases and private security in 11 cases, the report said.

The report states that in 2021, 16 people were allegedly abducted by Turkish intelligence agency MİT in 16 separate incidents, and one person was the subject of a kidnapping attempt. The report, which states that 15 abductees were later released, also recalls that there is still no news of Yusuf Bilge Tunç, who was abducted in Ankara on August 8, 2019. Tunç’s family has consistently complained about the lack of cooperation from officials to find him after his wife unearthed details indicating that Tunç had been abducted.

Thirty-four elected local politicians, including five co-mayors and three former mayors, were detained. Nine people, including one co-mayor, one former co-mayor and seven city council members, were arrested, the TİHV said.

Six hundred fifty-five members of various political parties were detained. Seventy-eight people, including 65 members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), were arrested.

The report also discussed the treatment of journalists and restrictions on the press and said that in 2021 at least 54 journalists and press workers, three of whom were foreigners, were detained.

In 2021, 120 criminal cases filed against 250 press employees continued. In the resulting judgments, 41 journalists were sentenced to a total of 87 years, 1 month and 14 days in prison, the TİHV said.

Access to at least 1,339 news reports, 134 pieces of internet content, 40 social media posts, at least five social media accounts and 56 media outlet websites was blocked by court order in 2021.

A total of 13 broadcasters, including 10 TV, one radio station and two digital platforms, were blocked by the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) and fined a total of TL 21,500,000 ($1,155,250).

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