Jailed leftist music band member’s arm broken due to mistreatment

Bahar Kurt (L)

Prison guards in western Turkey allegedly broke the arm of Bahar Kurt, a jailed member of the leftist Grup Yorum music band, the Bianet news website reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, the alleged incident took place in the Şakran women’s prison in İzmir where Kurt is incarcerated.

Her lawyer has filed a criminal complaint with the local prosecutor’s office.

“Bahar was arrested without any evidence against her,” lawyer Doğa İncesu said. “Since her arm was broken, she has also faced problems in accessing medical treatment.”

According to İncesu, doctors told Kurt that she might suffer from paralysis in her fingers unless she undergoes surgery. Yet, she has been unable to meet with an orthopedic surgeon and has instead been treated by emergency service doctors who installed faulty braces that were replaced several times.

Torture in custody and prisons is a systematic problem in Turkey about which local rights groups, parliamentarians and state authorities receive hundreds of complaints every year.

Earlier this year, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution that expressed concern about an increase in alleged incidents reported from Turkey in past years.

Although victims can include people detained or imprisoned on any grounds, several documents in recent years have indicated that the practice is more pervasive and systematic when it comes to people detained during demonstrations that include criticism of the government or those targeted on other political grounds such as their alleged ties to political and civil networks not approved of by the government.

Rights groups also complain about a climate of impunity, with most complaints against alleged incidents leading to no substantial investigation, in some cases despite available CCTV footage.

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