İHD report reveals 3,000 people tortured across Turkey in 2017

The Human Rights Association (İHD) has reported that at least 3,000 people were tortured by Turkish security officials across Turkey in 2017.

According to the İHD report, 2,682 people were tortured and subjected to rough treatment, including 1,855 people during meetings and demonstrations outside places of detention and in the presence of security forces.

The report on human rights violations across Turkey for 2017 was presented during a press conference at İHD headquarters, where Co-Chair Öztürk Türkdoğan together with İHD directors Sevim Salihoğlu and Necla Demir provided details of the report.

Türkdoğan stated that for the first time since the lifting of martial law in 1987 the country experienced a state of emergency (OHAL) for an entire year. He also underlined that 10 deputies including nine Democratic Peoples’ Party (HDP) deputies and one Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy are still in prison.

Some findings of the İHD’s 2017 report are as follows:

  • According to Decree No. 667, which came into effect on July 23, 2016, the duration of the period of custody was extended to 30 days. Lawyers were allowed to see their clients until five days after detention. Subsequently Decree No. 682, which entered into force on January 23, 2017, reduced the length of custody from 30 to 14 days, and lawyers can now see their clients one day after detention.
  • During OHAL, 10 deputies, including the former co-chairs of the HDP, Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, remain in pretrial detention.
  • The state intervened in the operation of 99 municipal councils during OHAL. Sixty-eight municipal council co-chairs were arrested. A total of 780 HDP officials were put in detention.
  • During OHAL, 116,512 public officials have been removed from their jobs in public service. The licenses of 22,474 teachers and employees of closed-down private institutions were canceled.
  • During OHAL, 4,308 judges and prosecutors have been removed by decisions of Board of Judges and prosecutors (HSK).
  • Forty-eight private health institutions were closed; only two of them reopened.
  • During OHAL, great harm was done to freedom of expression and as a result press freedom. A total of 201 press and broadcasting organisations, mainly print and visual media, was closed down, and only 25 of them were allowed to reopen.
  • A number of journalists have been arrested during OHAL. Currently, 213 journalists are jailed.
  • During OHAL, 1,607 associations were closed, of which 183 were allowed to reopen. One hundred sixty-eight foundations were closed and 23 were allowed to reopen. It has been alleged that a majority of these associations and foundations are linked to the Gülen movement, and the rest are claimed to be linked to other “illegal organisations” without citing any concrete evidence. Kurdish cultural institutions and women’s organizations, and rights and legal organizations are among those closed.
  • According to official statistics from the Turkish Justice Ministry, 4,187 people were sued for allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2017 based on Article 299 of Turkish Penal Code (TCK).
  • Thirty-three people lost their lives and 62 were wounded in extrajudicial executions.
  • In 2017, three people died and one person was injured under detention.
  • Due to the armed conflicts, 656 people, including 161 soldiers, police and village guards, 483 militants and 12 civilians, have lost their lives. During this period, 349 people were wounded, including 309 soldiers, police and village guards, 26 armed militants and 14 civilians.
  • Twenty-three people, eight of whom were children, lost their lives because of the impact of armored vehicles belonging to the security forces.
  • According to a reply by the Turkish Justice Ministry to main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Barış Yarkadaş, the number of prisoners who committed suicide in Turkish prisons in 2016 was 66. At least 40 prisoners committed suicide since the attempted coup on July 15, 2016.
  • The violation of the right to life for women has been on the rise during OHAL. Fifty-one women committed suicide.
  • According to parliament data, at least 2,006 workers died in 2017 in workplace accidents.
  • At least 3,000 people were tortured by Turkish security officials. According to İHD figures 2,682 people were tortured and subjected to rough treatment, including 1,855 in meetings and demonstrations outside places of detention and in the presence of security forces.
  • A total of 213 journalists are being held in Turkish prisons.
  • As of November 1, 2017 there were 230,735 people in prison. This number was 178,089 in 2015 and 154,179 in 2014. When the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan came to power in 2002, the number of prisoners in Turkey was 59,429.
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