Man beaten by gendarmes gets prison sentence for ‘resisting’

Photo: Artı Gerçek

Osman Kale, who was beaten by gendarmes in northern Turkey, has been sentenced to six months in prison on conviction of resisting law enforcement officers, the Artı Gerçek news website reported on Friday.

The gendarmes accused of deliberately injuring him received only a fine of TL 2,240 ($70) each.

The incident took place in the northern province of Tokat where Kale was beaten in his own home by gendarmes who had arrived to detain him due to a complaint.

The officers also destroyed the mobile phone of his wife Semra Kale, who filmed the beating, while a local hospital refused to issue a report documenting Kale’s injuries.

Kale also claimed that he and his family were pressured into withdrawing their complaints against the gendarmes.

It is common for law enforcement officials accused of using disproportionate force in Turkey to receive lenient sentences or evade investigations altogether.

Human rights groups frequently report a deep-rooted culture of impunity protecting the police, gendarmerie and military against ordinary citizens’ complaints.

In some cases, Turkish courts have even disregarded video footage documenting physical assaults.

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