Imprisoned journalists claim to have been tortured in Turkey

Journalist Erdoğan Alayamut

Thirteen inmates including journalists Erdoğan Alayumat and Serkan Erdoğan from the Dicle news agency (Dihaber) and Özgürlükçü Demokrasi daily, respectively, both of which were shut down by a government decree, were allegedly tortured on Oct. 2 by some 20-30 guards at Tarsus T-2 Prison in southern Turkey, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Thursday.

Tugay Bek, the lawyer for complainants Alayumat, Erdoğan, Mübarek Aksu and Hayrullah Turan, was reported to have said that the guards who tortured the journalists also ridiculed Alayumat by telling him “Hey journalist, go report these tortures, too.”

Human rights group Amnesty International reported on July 24, 2016 that it had received credible evidence of detainees in Turkey being subjected to beatings and torture, including rape, since a failed coup on July 15, 2016.

Turkey’s Human Rights Association (İHD) said in a report on Oct. 21, 2016 that there were nearly 220,000 people in Turkey’s prisons, which was more than 20 percent above the 183,000-person capacity.

According to the İHD report, Turkish prisons rapidly became overwhelmed by detentions and arrests that followed the failed coup in Turkey last July.

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by the SCF has showed that 280 journalists and media workers are now in jails as of September 30, 2017, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 255 are arrested pending trial, only 25 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 134 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the controversial coup attempt. (SCF with

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