6 Turkish police officers indicted for torturing detainees

İstanbul prosecutors have indicted six police officers on charges of torturing three people in their custody in 2022, the T24 news website reported.

The detainees were allegedly taken to a room without security cameras and physically mistreated. The officers are accused of beating the victims and crushing their heads under their knees. One detainee was made to lie on the floor rear-handcuffed, according to the report.

The victims — Berkay Ustabaş, Berkan Bütün and Sedef Özer — were detained during a demonstration in İstanbul in June 2022. Their injuries were documented in a medical report.

Torture in custody and prisons is a systematic problem in Turkey where local rights groups, parliamentarians and state authorities receive hundreds of complaints every year.

Although victims include people detained or imprisoned on any grounds, several documents in recent years have indicated that the practice is more pervasive and systematic when it comes to people detained during demonstrations that include criticism of the government or those targeted on other political grounds such as their alleged ties to political and civil networks not approved of by the government.

Another abuse that made the headlines in recent years was the systematic and arbitrary strip-searches of detainees and prisoners.

In June of this year the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s (PACE) Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights adopted a resolution condemning “the systematic or widespread use of torture and other forms of ill-treatment” in countries such as Russia, Azerbaijan and Turkey.

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