Edanur İbrahimoğlu, a youth spokesperson for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (HEDEP), was physically assaulted by police who intervened in a press conference organized by the party, the Mezopotamya news agency reported on Friday.
İbrahimoğlu was also mistreated while in custody, the report said.
The party released photos of her that clearly show significant injury to her right eye.
She was among dozens of people who were detained while attending a press conference that addressed the Turkish authorities’ practice of delivering the remains of loved ones who were killed in conflict to their families in boxes.
Prominent human rights advocate Eren Keskin said on social media that such handling of dead bodies lacks respect and violates the Geneva Conventions, to which Turkey is a party.
Disproportionate police force and mistreatment in custody is a widespread problem in Turkey, where gatherings critical of the government frequently face a strong police response.
The Kurdish political movement has been in the crosshairs of the authorities since the 2015 breakdown of peace talks between the government and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an insurgent group designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.
The government and media often accuse pro-Kurdish political parties of affiliation with the PKK. Since 2015, the Interior Ministry has removed from office dozens of elected Kurdish mayors and replaced them with pro-government trustees. Most of the ousted mayors were subsequently tried on terrorism-related charges.
Turkey was ranked 117th among 142 countries in the rule of law index published by the World Justice Project (WJP) in October, dropping one rank in comparison to last year.