HDP report shows Turkish police tortured 36 villagers with truncheons, rifle butts and mop sticks

A report by pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) concerning an incident of villagers allegedly tortured by police in the Şemdinli district of Hakkari has said 36 villagers were tortured with truncheons, rifle butts, mop sticks, hoses and iron rods for one hour, Cumhuriyet daily reported on Thursday.

HDP announced the report findings in Van province on Wednesday during a “Conscience and Justice Watch,” launched by HDP as part of a series of protests that will continue until Nov. 4, the anniversary of the detention of HDP Co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş along with eight other party deputies.

According to HDP report, “36 people were tortured with truncheons, rifle butts, mop sticks, short-cut hoses and iron rods for one hours and later on with the intervention of police officers from district police station 36 people were taken to jail, torture ended when detained people were taken to jail. On the same day 20 people out of 36 detained were released without any proceeding.”

HDP deputy Özgür Zeydanoğlu said an operation was launched in a village in Hakkari’s Şemdinli district on July 5 after one police officer was killed during the conflict with Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists.

“During the first operation six people, most of whom were former HDP executives or members were detained by battering and torture. Other family members in their houses experienced serious insults, all family members from 90 years old women to six years old female children were battered. Six people, despite their wounds, were made to wait four hours nearby the central mosque and were tortured either by walking over them or beating them hard. During the operations between 04.30-07.30 in Butu and Meydan Neighbourhoods, almost all family members in the houses experienced serious insults and torture. While almost 100 people were beaten and tortured a total of 36 people were detained” said Zeydanoğlu as he read the report.

The report said, a doctor from Şemdinli Hospital refused to give battery report and treat Bünyamin Atahak and said “you are from Şapatan village, you are terrorists.”

After the incidents were shared on social media, 16 people were released on Aug. 7 and battery reports were given to some victims when Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office interfered.

The Hakkari Governor’s Office said on Thursday that a police officer was suspended over a “strong suspicion” of his involvement in torturing the villagers after victims filed complaints with the Şemdinli Public Prosecutor’s Office.

The Hakkari Governor’s Office also rejected claims in the national media that police officers tortured several villagers in Şemdinli but added that “necessary steps will be taken against the security personnel if any evidence of their involvement in torture is found.” (turkishminute.com)

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