CCTV recordings at police station reveal brutal treatment of detainee

Newly emerged CCTV recordings of a man who died in police custody on June 5 in İstanbul show several policemen detaining him and one policeman emerging from his interrogation with a bloody hand, Turkish media reported.

Recordings show Birol Yıldırım, 42, and two others speaking with policemen in front of the station. As Yıldırım turns around to leave, several policemen force him into the police station. Recordings also show a struggle between Yıldırım and the policemen, and one police officer shouting at Yıldırım.

Fifteen minutes after Yıldırım and his friend are forced into a dining hall. at 23:32, one police officer emerges rubbing a bloody hand and putting ice on it. Yıldırım’s family has filed a complaint against the officers.

The video recordings were shared by Sezgin Tanrıkulu, a human rights activist and deputy from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), on Twitter. “There are undeniable indications of mistreatment. Will the perpetrators be protected during investigations and will they continue in their positions?” he said.

In a statement yesterday the İstanbul Governor’s Office said Yıldırım was at the police station to report a fight in the neighborhood and died after suddenly passing out in the waiting room. The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office also issued a statement saying they would conduct a thorough investigation of the incident. Yıldırım’s body was taken to the Institute of Forensic Medicine for an autopsy.

There have been widespread claims of torture in Turkey’s prisons and detention centers that have so far gone uninvestigated.

According to a report released by Tanrıkulu  in January, a total of 27,493 people were victims of torture and maltreatment between 2002, when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power, and 2020 and that 86 others had died from such mistreatment.

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