Journalist allegedly beaten, mistreated in police custody: report

Journalist Sedat Yılmaz (Photo: MLSA)

Journalist Sedat Yılmaz, who was detained on Saturday in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakır, was allegedly mistreated and beaten while in police custody, the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya (MA) news agency reported on Monday.

Yılmaz, an editor for MA, was detained as part of an investigation by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and transferred to Ankara in handcuffs. He wasn’t given any food, and all his requests were denied by the police during his 15-hour trip to the capital.  

According to MA, Yılmaz was beaten and kicked in the head by the police in Ankara and has been suffering from hearing loss.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Turkey office has called on Turkish authorities to investigate the mistreatment of Yılmaz.

Turkish authorities have increased their crackdown on Kurds ahead of critical elections slated for May 14 that could extend President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s two-decade rule.

Last week more than a hundred people including 10 journalists were detained in a separate investigation targeting Kurds conducted by the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in 21 provinces. As part of this investigation, five journalists who were detained along with activists, lawyers and politicians were arrested.

They are accused of membership in a terrorist organization, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). All the journalists have faced similar charges in the past and spent some time in jail.

Turkey, which is one of the top jailers of journalists in the world, was ranked 149th among 180 countries in the RSF 2022 World Press Freedom Index, released in May.

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